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Ian Wright - part II

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Claire Stocks | 09:47 UK time, Monday, 5 June 2006

Paul Armstrong, Match of the Day editor, will be posting regularly on our World Cup blog. Before he left for Germany he wanted to expand on some of the points raised by the Ian Wright "diving" controversy last week.

"In my initial response, I said that 'our audience is perfectly capable of making up their own mind whether they agree or disagree' with Ian.

"Judging by the response, I got that right, if nothing else! We do take on board all the comments and have in fact had our own internal debate about what is a ticklish subject.

"Most of us here would like to see no diving whatsoever during the World Cup, but we will not be censoring - or indeed censuring - our pundits if, as Ian did, they express an opinion during a live broadcast which is not universally popular.

"We employ pundits to have an opinion, and the fact that everyone participating and watching will have their own take on this, and many other aspects of the game, is part of the joy of football.

"It is actually possible for our organisation to support fair play as a concept, while allowing individuals to take a dissenting view, albeit in this case one which can be seen as unduly pragmatic, cynical, or both.

"However, Dan Smith is absolutely correct: Wrighty is not now in a position to complain if other teams dive or employ gamesmanship against England, and if that happens, it will be our duty to point out that he's contradicting himself.

"Let's hope it doesn't arise, and that England (and the other 31 teams) neither benefit, nor suffer, from cheating in Germany!"

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