The timing was immediately suspicious.
Less than an hour before a full card of SPFL Premiership fixtures Sky Sports issued an apology over their interview with Alfredo Morelos. At 10.31pm they updated the apology.
Celtic didn’t ask for an apology, they wanted an explanation.
Monday’s statement asked:
CELTIC Football Club has today asked Sky Sports to conduct an investigation into an interview broadcast yesterday, which accused Celtic supporters of racist behaviour.
Translations provided to Celtic Football Club have shown inconsistencies between the words spoken during the interview broadcast and the subtitles used by Sky Sports.
In particular, and most concerning, while the broadcaster used the following subtitle on screen: “Afterwards it was very frustrating to hear the crowd screaming at me. They were saying offensive and racist words.”
Mr Morelos does not use these words anywhere within the extended interview which has been broadcast across Sky’s platforms. Celtic FC has asked Sky Sports to clarify their position on this matter.
Of course Sky are sorry but their statement offers nothing in the way of an explanation.
We have identified inaccuracies in the translation of Sky Sports News’ interview with Alfredo Morelos. We apologise to both Celtic and Rangers football clubs as well as Alfredo Morelos for the issues caused by these errors.
After numerous steps undertaken by Sky to verify the interview thoroughly we can be clear that at no point did Morelos allege that any racial abuse was directed at him by Celtic supporters in the interview. We apologise to the supporters of Celtic Football Club for this serious error.
We are reviewing our procedures for translated interviews to ensure this does not occur in future.
— Phil MacGiollaBhain (@Pmacgiollabhain) February 5, 2020
So Sky have identified inaccuracies and are reviewing procedures.
Neither action answers Celtic’s request for an explanation.
If Sky are truly sorry they can broadcast the apology throughout Sky News today, giving it the same prominence as the original story.
The real question is who was behind the inaccuracies. Are they Sky employees or were they commissioned for the job, who chose them for this scoop/exclusive?
What was the motivation for the interview, was it to find out about the footballer or was it to discuss racism in Scotland and in Scottish football, was it to spice things up for their next Old Firm showing? At two matches earlier this season sections of Ibrox was closed down by UEFA as a result of racist incidents.
How many levels of Sky management allowed the interview to be passed? Given the seriousness of the comments and the prominence that the broadcaster gave the story, when did someone decide to double check the quotes and translation?
Sky Sports and Sky News had a field day with Fake News used to label Celtic supporters as racist.
What explanations have Sky got from those at the head of Sport and News for allowing the story to run and run and run?
Unless Celtic push for an EXPLANATON it looks like all sides have decided on a cosy solution as they move on for the good of Scottish football and begin the countdown to their next dose of Old Firm magic with an extra splash of poison thrown in to the recipe.
CLICK HERE for Sky apology.