SPORTS Minister Michael Ring has called on RTE to reconsider its plan to drop John Giles from its coverage for tomorrow’s crucial Ireland versus Scotland soccer international.
Minister Ring said he was disappointed by RTE’s treatment of the veteran football pundit and said the broadcaster should show more respect to the former Irish international.
“To me Johnny Giles is one of the top experts on soccer that I know. He is level headed and balanced in his analysis, and there’s not a better and more knowledgeable pundit,” Mr Ring told independent.ie.
He added: “It’s no way to treat someone who has been so loyal to the station and they should reconsider.”
Mr Giles has been dropped from the panel for tomorrow’s match despite offering to work free of charge.
He will be replaced by Richard Sadlier, who will join regular analysts Eamon Dunphy and Arsenal legend Liam Brady.
Yesterday, Mr Giles said he was disappointed not to be part of the coverage for the crunch Euro 2016 qualifier match.
"I made it clear that I could do an extra match and made it clear that there would be no extra payment for that,” he told Newstalk’s ‘Off The Ball’ show.
He added: "I'm very disappointed, it's one of the biggest games we've had in recent times. I've been involved with the Irish team for a very long time and wanted them to do well.
"It's a match I'd love to do and I'm not doing it. I'm not moaning about it, if RTE want to do what they are doing that's their business. That's the call they're making and the call they most honestly believe is the best for the station."