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BBC apologises for error showing Raheem Sterling pic during rape case segment

The BBC made the error and issued the subsequent apology earlier today.

BBC News error
BBC News
Published: Thursday, 14th July 2022 at 5:29 pm

The BBC has apologised after a picture of Raheem Sterling was shown in error during a news segment on a Premier League player arrested on suspicion of rape.

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The player who has been arrested cannot be named for legal reasons and the club for which he plays is also currently unknown.

The picture of former Manchester City player Sterling that was shown was of him in his new Chelsea kit, in an image that was released yesterday to coincide with confirmation of his arrival to the club following a £50 million signing.

At 11am this morning, the BBC News channel apologised for having shown the image as the unconnected story was read out, with the presenter saying: "In our sports bulletin this morning, owing to a technical error the wrong picture appeared in connection with the story of a Premier League player arrested over alleged sexual offences.

"A picture of a different and wholly unconnected player was shown. We apologise for this mistake."

The on-air report in which the error occurred, which was presented by Mike Bushell, had been about a player who was arrested on 4th July over an alleged attack in June, and was then further arrested while in custody in relation to two more alleged incidents in 2021. He has been bailed until August and denies the allegations.

The bulletin was in response to an update from the player’s club, which says he is able to "fulfil his professional commitments including permitted travel" and has not been suspended.

In the bulletin, Bushell was seen with the picture of Sterling behind him, as he announced that "a Premier League player arrested on suspicion of rape has not been suspended and can fulfil his professional…" before trailing off.

He then added that "I think we’ll have a bit more on that story a bit later on" before affirming that "we don’t know the team, we don’t know the player either."

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Following the on-air apology for the error, Metro.co.uk has reported that the BBC was also set to repeat the apology in the following sports bulletin on the News channel.

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