Photo caption: From left, broadcasters Angus Scott, Ruud Gullit, a former Chelsea and Dutch national team player, and Arsène Wenger, former Arsenal manager, appear on set at the Qatar World Cup with the Jules Rimet Trophy.
From the turf at Carson Park to the pitches of Qatar, Angus Scott has seen plenty of football — both the American version and the internationally recognized sport.
More than three decades after he was an exchange student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, the international broadcast journalist is in Qatar covering the World Cup, the world’s biggest sporting event for British broadcasting company ITV. The Bristol, England-born broadcaster spent a semester at UW-Eau Claire as an exchange student from the University of Winchester in 1987.
“I remember turning up on Labor Day and that was my first day,” Scott says. “The brilliant sunshine and then I remember it getting very, very cold.”
Scott doesn’t have to worry about the cold in Qatar, the World Cup host country. Before he was sitting alongside soccer royalty such as Arsène Wenger and Jose Mourinho, Scott was a journalism student at the University of Winchester with a taste for adventure. While at UW-Eau Claire, Scott played for the men’s rugby team and honed his journalism skills at student-run TV-10.
“I love nearly everything about UWEC. The people that made some great friendships. I love the TV studio,” Scott says. “But I think some of my favorite experiences were actually going back to my roommate’s house in Colby and being with his family. Then going over to another friend’s house to share Thanksgiving with their family, which was just such a great experience.”
Scott is no stranger to Qatar as he lived there for seven years. As he prepares for the World Cup, he still uses skills and experiences he learned years ago at UW-Eau Claire.
“Some of the experiences I learned in Wisconsin I used in the Middle East,” Scott says. “Like meeting people, and getting to know them and learning about different people’s cultures. I have to say the culture in Wisconsin was very different to the other parts of the U.S. that I had been to previously.”
In addition to his duties in front the camera, Scott is a part-time lecturer at his alma mater at the University of Winchester, teaching the next generation of journalists in the United Kingdom. Scott encourages both his students and UW-Eau Claire students to take advantage of the exchange between the two universities to grow as people and professionals.
“I think it’s important to learn that there is more than just one way of writing new stories or presenting news bulletins,” Scott says. “We can learn a lot from the way that the U.S. broadcasts its news programs. It's very refreshing the way some of the broadcasts are presented — although I sometimes find it very difficult how opinionated some anchors can be.”
UW-Eau Claire and University of Winchester have exchanged more than 300 students each over the past 30 years. Students from both universities get a chance to see a new place and a new way of life.
“Winchester is a beautiful city — it is full of so much history, Scott says. “It has an amazing cathedral, a great community, and I would say a great university. You will learn as much coming to the U.K. as I did going to the U.S. — it is a life-enhancing experience. There’s a different way of teaching, there’s a different sort of culture — it will open your eyes to a different way of life.”
While the World Cup is the pinnacle of world soccer, the 2022 tournament has been controversial since its announcement in 2010. This tournament presents a unique challenge to the veteran broadcaster.
“I lived in Qatar for seven years, so it is great to come back and see how the country has transformed itself into a host for the World Cup,” Scott says. “There are many controversial things about Qatar and many of the criticisms are justified — but the World Cup has shone a light on many of them, and under scrutiny Qatar has changed its ways. But above all this is the biggest tournament in the world, and to be here presenting it is the pinnacle of anyone’s career. But, for the first time, events away from football have superseded what is about to happen on the pitch, so the difficulty for us as presenters is how to editorially reflect this. We have to talk about migrant workers’ deaths, we have to talk about slave labor, we have to talk about Qatar’s position on homosexuality, but also we have to talk about football and finding the balance between all that is complex.”
With the tournament kicking off and England considered a top contender, there’s one game this week that will be important to fans on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean — the Black Friday matchup between USA and England. Scott took a diplomatic stance on his prediction for the match.
“I think this could be a really tough game for England, and as for a result, I’m going to sit on the fence and say it’ll be a one-all draw,” Scott says.