A SUPER-INJUNCTION banned the Welsh media from making any criticism of former national football team captain Ryan Giggs, it can be revealed.
The strict court order also forced journalists to refer to Giggs abandoning the captaincy and walking out on his country during the middle of a qualifying campaign in favourable terms such as ‘glorious retirement’ and describe the midfielder as a ‘faithful servant’.
The gagging order was only revealed after a Welsh Assembly Member announced its existence during a debate at the Senedd.
Liberal Democrat Peter Black envoked the privilege of Assembly debates being broadcast on S4C Digidol, whose zero viewing figures allow AMs to speak freely and say whatever they want safe in the knowledge no-one is watching, to blow open the injunction.
The draconian order could have seen football writers from the Western Mail and BBC Wales football pundits, as well as other journalists, jailed for making even mild criticism of Giggs’ Welsh performances from his 1991 debut to when he eventually had enough and jacked it in for Wales in 2007 as Wales sought to qualify for the following summer’s European football championships.
Black told AMs: “With 75,000 football fans all having, at some point criticised Ryan Giggs’ performances for the national side, or questioned his commitment, on internet forums it is obviously impractical to imprison them all.”
South Wales Echo football writer Steve Tucker, who had been banned from Cardiff City’s press conferences by newly sacked Bluebirds manager, Dave Jones, said he was relieved the order had now been lifted.
“This order was way over the top and frankly stupid,” said Tucker who added Giggs had otherwise always been a popular figure amongst the press pack and fans.
“Despite the order, and the surrounding bad publicity, people still like Giggsy. I think everyone from the stereotypical fat, ugly football fan to Miss Wales likes Ryan, I like Ryan but I tell who really is a twat, Dave Jones. I just don’t like the man and I’m glad he’s had the sack.”