Is intrusion becoming a factor in sport?

In a newsroom when a big, interesting or even quirky story breaks there is always a ripple of discussion and debate.

Johnny Cantor
Johnny Cantor

This week was no different as a chat between Ken Clarke and Michael Rifkind was caught on camera.

During the extensive coverage of both Wimbledon and the football in France, I noticed a developing theme.

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Players, coaches and managers were cupping their hands as they spoke so cameras couldn’t pick up what was being said.

Is it tactics? Is it personal? Or is it just what they are having for dinner? I totally understand why many see it as necessary.

This also shows the issue of TV cameras, mobile phones and now drones is evolving.

The ethical debate, of course, on whether organisations should broadcast such material has been around for a long time, with some situations differing from others.

Some may be private, while others are in full glare with all parties aware that lenses are trained on them.

The one off-shoot of it is that some central characters are reluctant to be open and expressive.

Admittedly, when some miss a glaring opportunity to score or feel aggrieved by a referee’s decision we may not want to see what they are mouthing.

On the other hand, it is sad in a way that players are now reluctant to joke, chat or debate on the pitch for fear of reprisals.

We all have to be careful about what we say and do as it can be so easily misconstrued, but occasionally it is nice to see the playful nature of someone like Paul Gascoigne.

I was asked by a friend this week what I thought of the Euros.

There was plenty to admire from the likes of Wales and Iceland but mainly from fans rather than players.

If I actually had to find one word to describe the tournament I hate to say it would have to be - bland.

Yes, we’ve had the theatrics and histrionics of Ronaldo and we’ll probably see some tears if Portugal win it on Sunday but there has been very little character for me, which has been a little disappointing.

It may have been embodied most in England’s lacklustre performances. They looked inhibited.

Maybe that comes from the weekly spotlight of the Premier League .

In the past, when players have reacted, it has been pounced on by the media, so I understand their trepidation when it comes to certain situations.

However, individuals such as Gareth Bale at this year’s competition in France show it can still be done.

Well done him and well done to Wales on what has been a truly incredible run in this year’s competition.

Let’s hope for a fitting finale in 
France – then we can fully focus on the new season and all let our hair down a little.

Well what’s left of it in my case!

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