World Cup 2022: what is the ITV curse & why should England fans worry ahead of Senegal round of 16 match?

The curse is one which England fans will be hoping their side can lift against Senegal

England booked a place in the last 16 of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a comprehensive 3-0 win against Wales. The win secured top spot in the group and lined up a knockout tie against Senegal.

The match will be broadcast live on ITV today and kicks off at 7pm. The choice of broadcaster will, however, have many England fans worried. This is due to what has become known as the ITV curse.

The ‘curse’ refers to a long run of poor performances from England on ITV, a run which equates to just six victories from 28 matches broadcasted since 1998. When compared to matches on the BBC, it makes for worrying reading.

In the same period 27 major tournament matches involving England have been shown on BBC. These have resulted in 19 victories and just three defeats.

The ‘curse’ has shown itself to an extent in this World Cup so far. Both England’s 6-2 win against Iran and 3-0 defeat of Wales were broadcast on BBC, but the 0-0 draw with USA was chosen for broadcast on ITV.

However, it’s not all doom and gloom for England fans and their World Cup journey is by no means destined to end on Sunday. At the same stage at the 2018 World Cup, England’s penalty shoot-out win against Colombia was on ITV. Could a repeat be on the cards? Hopefully not via penalties.

Jude Bellingham. Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images

To see if England can avoid the dreaded curse, you can tune in to ITV from 6pm today. The match kicks off at 7pm.