ITV has apologised after announcing that Soccer Aid had raised £2.2m more for Unicef UK than it actually had.
The broadcaster said on Sunday that the event had raised £11.5m, and Unicef UK also shared the figure on Monday.
But yesterday ITV rectified the figure in a statement on Twitter, which said Soccer Aid has in fact raised £9.3m so far – some £2.2m less than initially reported.
ITV said this was due to “an administrative error within ITV” and fully apologised for the mistake.
It was still the largest sum ever raised by the event, ITV said.
The match was held on Sunday behind closed doors. People who had bought tickets for the match, originally scheduled for 6 June, could either get a refund or donate the price to Unicef UK.
For the first time Unicef UK had a double match-funding programme in place for the event – every £1 donated by the public became £3 thanks to support from the Department for International Development and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, up to £3m.
‘ITV would like to apologise fully’
ITV’s statement reads: “Last Sunday’s Soccer Aid event was watched by millions on ITV, whose donations contributed to a record fundraising total which will help Unicef provide a better start in life for young people in need across the world.
“Regrettably, due to an administrative error within ITV, the total figure raised of £11.5m announced on air by ITV at the end of Sunday night’s Soccer Aid for Unicef was incorrect.
“The total amount of money raised by the end of the show was £9.3m. This is still the largest sum raised in Soccer Aid for Unicef history – beating the £6.7m raised in 2019.
“ITV would like to apologise fully for this error, which should not detract from the commitment made by all those involved, including Unicef, the players, coaching staff, production and all supporting partners, as well as the huge generosity of the public, who we would like to thank again for making the event such a success.
“As previously planned, all donation platforms will remain open until Tuesday 6 October and ITV will continue to promote the event on air and online to deliver the highest possible final total.”
Unicef UK declined to comment and deferred to ITV’s statement. The event has raised about £47m for the charity since its launch in 2006.