THE BBC is being urged to stop its national coverage of major football tournaments being viewed through an “entirely English lens”.

SNP MP Gavin Newlands said viewers in the rest of the UK have had to endure coverage which is of “no relevance or interest to them” when watching games.

He said no-one in England, Wales or Northern Ireland is expected to sit through “a greatest hits compilation of Scottish World Cup songs”.

Newlands wrote to the BBC and ITV last month to raise concerns over what he says was imbalanced commentary and analysis of the 2020 Euros, in which England faces Italy in the final tonight.

In response, BBC director of sport Barbara Slater (below) said the channel had endeavoured to provide a fair balance for all the home nations across TV, radio and digital outlets.

The National:

She pointed to examples including BBC One live network coverage of Scotland v Czech Republic with an all Scottish on-air team, and having both Scottish and English commentators on highlights of the Scotland v England match.

She added the BBC One network preview show had representatives from all three competing home nations, leading with Scotland, while all three team camps were featured regularly across the group stages at various points in our coverage.

But Newlands has written back to the broadcaster arguing the response “misses the point”. He said: “Wholly appropriate national excitement about the England men’s nation team is being inappropriately exported to other UK nations under the guise of “national” coverage – when in fact any coverage of major football tournaments like Euro 2020 broadcast across the UK must, by definition, be international in this context.

“I have complimented BBC Scotland on its exemplary coverage so far, on television, radio and online. Much of it is clearly produced for a mainly or wholly Scottish-based audience.

“No-one in England, Wales, or Northern Ireland is expected to sit through a greatest hits compilation of Scottish World Cup songs or a documentary on Scotland’s last appearance in a men’s tournament finals in 1998.

READ MORE: Tory-appointed BBC director 'tried to block editorial hire on political grounds'

“But audiences in the other three UK nations, if they wish to watch BBC coverage of the games broadcast, must also thole a narrative and focus that is of absolutely no relevance or interest to them.”

Newlands went on to say viewers in France are not expected to have to rely on a broadcaster in a different country for coverage of international football – such as seeing “every tournament through the eyes of Germany”, with references to victory in the 1954 World Cup and replays of penalty shoot-out wins over England.

He urged the BBC to plan a “fundamental change” in coverage in time for next year’s World Cup, ensuring resources are available to BBC Scotland and the other nations.

In her letter, Slater said his points would be fed into a review process.

She said: “I expect we may have to agree to disagree on aspects of the quality and comprehensiveness. We will review all our coverage once the tournament is over and take on board any lessons.”