Royal Cock-Up: A Spanish TV director is fired after censuring the booing of the national anthem

The Copa Del Rey final caused a massive uproar in Spain even before a ball was kicked on Wednesday night.

In a move that was to cost him his job, TVE sports director Julian Reyes critically erred by choosing to show footage of fans in Bilbao and Barcelona, instead of the events at Valencia’s Mestalla stadium, during the national anthem at the start of the final.

Being the Kings’ Cup, Spanish king Juan Carlos was in attendance at the showpiece event. However, his presence was far from the toast of either the Barca or Bilbao fans, with both sets of supporters famed for their regions fierce anti-nationalist politics. Both Catalonia and the Basque country are renowned for wanting to gain their own independence and cede from the rest of Spain.

Being the case, it was no surprise that when the national anthem started bellowing out before the kick-off, it was greeted by a chorus of boos and hisses by the majority of the 45,000 people in the ground.

In a crafty move attempting to censure the booing, national television station TVE refused to air the pictures from inside the stadium, cutting instead to footage of live locals in both Bilbao and Barcelona. Then, at halftime, TVE ran a doctored replay of the anthem having had forty-five minutes to artificially drown out the sound of the booing while making the sound of the anthem louder.

Facing a wave of complaints, TVE initially tried to pass off the incident as a “human error,” before eventually hanging Julien Reyes out to dry for his attempt at censoring the public protest.

Footage of how the national anthem was broadcast live on television, the doctored halftime edition, and the real sound as caught on Spanish radio at the time of the anthem, can all be seen here.