Soccer pundit Eamon Dunphy has apologised for his expletive-laden outburst on RTÉ Television last night, but said it could have been worse.
His use of the ‘f’ word twice prompted 13 complaints to RTÉ from viewers
Dunphy thought he was off air as they returned from a break at half-time during the Brazil match against Mexico.
Dunphy commented on the pitch in Fortaleza describing it as like a "f***ing bog". He also said that Brazilian player Neymar was "f***ing dreading it" when he took the penalty against Croatia.
Presenter Bill O’Herlihy reminded Dunphy that they were on air and apologised to viewers for what O’Herlihy called an “inexactitude”.
Dunphy said he had made a mistake and apologised especially to young people.
“It could have been a lot worse. There is a lot of slander when you think nobody is listening,” he said on the RTÉ Today with Sean O’Rourke programme this morning.
Dunphy said his remarks were "a venal rather than a mortal sin" and couldn't be compared to, for instance, Ron Atkinson who se career as a television pundit ended when he described Chelsea player Marcel Desailly as a f***ing lazy nigger" when he thought he was off-air.
Dunphy said he was not the only one who thought they were off-air as former German international Dietmar Hamann was checking his phone messages at the time.
It is not the first time that Dunphy has got into trouble during a World Cup. He turned up for the Japan/Russia game in 2002 on a Sunday morning seemingly worse than wear and left at half-time.
He later apologised saying he had a few drinks the night before and no sleep.
The match between Brazil and Mexico attracted an average audience over the full programme of 381,800 which represented a share of 30.44 per cent of those watching TV at the time.