ITV has defended its decision to cut short an interview with José Mourinho following Tuesday night's Champions League match between Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, claiming no mistake was made and that it was "too late to arrange an overrun".
Mourinho was interviewed by Gabriel Clarke after his side's aggregate defeat, only for the reporter to interrupt the Portuguese mid-flow while he was discussing his managerial future, potentially in England. The broadcast was swiftly ended ahead of the 10 o'clock news but ITV is keen to move any blame away from Clarke and denied that it was poor journalism.
The broadcaster claimed the reporter was already in the process of signing off the interview when Mourinho decided to embark on a potentially revelatory statement. ITV said that if a programme is to overrun, its protocol requires a decision made five minutes in advance and claimed the broadcast had passed the time when one could have been requested.
A statement read: "Our reporter Gabriel Clarke managed to land an unexpected interview with José Mourinho with only two minutes left before the end of last night's Champions League programme on ITV.
"At that stage it was too late to arrange an overrun of the broadcast beyond the allotted time. However, in a very tight, live situation, we showed as much as we possibly could of their exchange to viewers."
However, ITV has come in for ridicule following the decision to cut back to its presenter, Adrian Chiles, who was pitchside at the Bernabéu. Mourinho, when asked by Clarke where he would be managing next season, said: "I want to be where I love to be and where people love me to be." Clarke then interrupted him and said: "I'll take that as England, I've got to go."
It is not the first time that ITV has come in for criticism while broadcasting football. In 2009 it cut to adverts before Dan Gosling scored an 118th-minute winner for Everton against Liverpool in the FA Cup, and HD viewers missed Steven Gerrard's goal for England against USA in the 2010 World Cup due to a similar gaffe.