Fans are worried for England’s World Cup fate as the tournament continues this evening (Friday 25 November), with the match against the USA being broadcast to fans back home on... Yep, you’ve guessed it, ITV.
Superstitions are rife in the sporting world, with players and fans alike resorting to any means necessary to secure a win, even if it’s something as simple as a pair of lucky undies.
Some inevitably stem from bizarre patterns that appear to emerge – a team always losing when they play away, or, in the case of England’s success in big tournaments, which channel their match is shown on.
Over the years, people have noticed that England wins are markedly lower when the games are broadcast on ITV, compared to BBC, a phenomenon that’s now been dubbed the ‘ITV Curse’.
Ahead of tonight’s clash with the USA, one person tweeted: “If England draws or [loses] it's the Curse of ITV.”
Someone else said: “Don’t forget the ITV curse. Maybe USA have a chance against England.”
Another wrote: “England vs USA, just checked what channel it’s on = oh dear, ITV!!! Everyone must know about The ITV England Curse #ITVEnglandcurse.”
A fourth added: “Should we be talking about the Curse of ITV yet? #ENGUSA.”
After crunching the numbers with his own spreadsheet, podcaster Dean Ayass also tweeted: “England v USA in #FIFAWorldCup is on ITV! Beware! England have only won 14% of their games shown on ITV compared to 73% when shown on BBC1! The #CurseofITV is real! #WorldCup2022 #ENG #ENGIRN #ENGUSA.”
The so-called ‘curse’ is a label that’s been thrown around for a while now, with a stretch of losses all too often broadcast on ITV stretching back to 1998.
In the past 10 years of the World Cup and Euros alone, England has won just a handful of ITV-broadcast fixtures – including that 1-0 victory against Ukraine in Euro 2012, a 2018 World Cup Colombia game that ended in penalties and two Euro 2020 games – while the majority have been draws or losses.
England 1 - 0 Croatia (BBC, Won)
England 0 - 0 Scotland (ITV, Draw)
Czech Republic 0 - 1 England (ITV, Won)
England 2 - 0 Germany (BBC, Won)
Ukraine 0 - 4 England (BBC, Won)
England 2 - 1 Denmark (ITV, Won)
England 1 - 1 Italy (BBC and ITV, Draw)
World Cup 2018:
Tunisia 1 - 2 England (BBC, Won)
England 6 - 1 Panama (BBC, Won)
England 0 - 1 Belgium (ITV, Lost)
Colombia 1 - 1 England (ITV, Draw – although England eventually won 4-3 on penalties)
Sweden 0 - 2 England (BBC, Won)
Croatia 2 - 1 England (ITV, Lost)
Belgium 2 - 0 England (ITV, Lost)
England 1 - 1 Russia (ITV, Draw)
England 2 - 1 Wales - (BBC, Won)
Slovakia 0 - 0 England (ITV, Draw)
England 1 - 2 Iceland (ITV, Lost)
World Cup 2014:
England 1 - 2 Italy (BBC, Lost)
Uruguay 2 - 1 England (ITV, Lost)
Costa Rica 0 - 0 England (ITV, Draw)
France 1 - 1 England (ITV, Draw)
Sweden 2 - 3 England (BBC, Won)
England 1 - 0 Ukraine (ITV, Won)
England 0 - 0 Italy - (BBC, Draw – Italy ended up winning 4-2 on penalties)
World Cup 2010:
England 1 - 1 USA (ITV, Draw)
England 0 - 0 Algeria (ITV, Draw)
Slovenia 0 - 1 England (BBC, Won)
Germany 4 - 1 England (BBC, Lost)
Of course, there have been some wins on ITV, including a 3-0 victory against Switzerland during the Euro 2004 tournament, but the vague pattern remains.
England's recent efforts during Euro 2020 also suggested any supposed curse was either broken or never existed in the first place, as they not only had two ITV-broadcast wins under their belt, they also made it to the final – only just being beaten by Italy in penalties.
Interested to see what the folk at ITV think about the matter, LADbible has reached out to the channel for comment.