I spent yesterday evening switching between the Ireland vs Argentina game on Sky and the England vs Hungary one on ITV. Neither game seized me by the throat (I missed both Gerard goals) but the Sky Sports commentator managed to nudge me away from the Ireland game he was covering and towards the England game. Not because I’m more interested in England than Ireland but because the Sky man would keep mangling Irish names. Did you know that the Republic has a player called Key-oh? Or one called Faw-hee? That’s Keogh and Fahy when pronounced properly. The Sky man had the former Republic of Ireland player Ray Houghton beside him, which should have resolved any Irish name pronunciation, except that Ray's from Scotland and is probably a bit shaky on Irish names himself. It’s like that player Arsenal had some years back. Key-own he was called, played at full-back.
Ignorance? Laziness? Probably a bit of both. Plus that unfailing English notion, sometimes buried but never quite dead, that foreign names are deliberately weird and need to be modified so that, well, ordinary civilized people can understand them.
I’d be more critical of English delusions of superiority except that a considerable number of local radio announcers still don’t know how to pronounce ‘Magherafelt’.