Football Focus, Final Score and 5 Live Sport pulled from air as Gary Lineker crisis at BBC deepens

Football Focus and Final Score were dropped from the BBC’s afternoon programming after hosts Alex Scott and Jason Mohammed said they would not be presenting the programs.

It comes after Gary Lineker’s use of social media prompted him to withdraw from hosting the Match of the Day as the crisis surrounding the BBC now engulfs the other two shows due to air on Saturday.

BBC Radio 5 Live sports coverage was also taken off the air on Saturday afternoon, with 5 Live Sport replaced by a pre-recorded podcast at 12pm.

Scott was due to present Football Focus on Saturday lunchtime but announced she would complement her boycott of the Match of the Day, which the BBC said would come after a pundits revolt “without any studio presentation or expert knowledge”.

It has been confirmed that Premier League players will not be speaking to Match of the Day today to support Lineker. Six leading commentators announced they would join the boycott along with pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer.

As well as Scott and Mohammad, several BBC Sport staff members tweeted that they had joined the mutiny. A reporter said: “We must all stand together.”

On the BBC’s afternoon programme, Football Focus was replaced by an extended edition of Bargain Hunt, while Final Score was canceled and swapped for a showing of The Workshop.

Scott had expressed her support for Lineker on Friday night and the former England international said she had informed BBC bosses of her decision to withdraw from this week’s show that evening.

Scott tweeted: “I made a decision last night that even though I love doing Football Focus and we’ve had an incredible week winning an SJA award, it just doesn’t feel right to continue with the show today. Hopefully I’ll be back in the chair next week…”

Alex Scott said she would not host Football Focus

(Getty Images)

Expert Glenn Murray pulled out of appearing on Football Focus and Final Score, with the former Brighton striker tweeting: “I was supposed to be in Media City today but thinking about it last night I thought it was the right thing to do me to withdraw from Focus & Score Today.

Final Score presenter Mohammad told the BBC he would not be hosting the Saturday afternoon show. He said: “As you know, Final Score is a TV show that’s very close to my heart. However – I informed the BBC this morning that I will not be presenting the show on BBC One this afternoon.”

It comes after the BBC told former England striker Lineker to step down from hosting his flagship Highlights program due to his use of social media, with fellow ex-players Wright and Shearer confirming they are not out of “solidarity”. would appear in the game of the day. .

The revolt that followed the decision to remove Lineker from his presenting duties after the BBC ruled his criticism of the government’s new asylum policy had breached its impartiality guidelines took an extraordinary turn on Saturday when Football Focus and Final Score were removed the afternoon schedule.

Meanwhile, it has been confirmed by the Professional Players Association (PFA) that Premier League players will not be speaking to Match of the Day today to show their support for Lineker and join the growing boycott of the pundits and commentators-led programme.

The BBC told clubs they will not be asking players to fulfill their broadcast obligations. As reported by The Independent On Friday night, clubs debated whether the appearance of their managers and players at the match of the day was almost a “political act”.

The Sky Sports reporter opens up about the allegedly hypocritical treatment of Gary Lineker

Premier League players have also wanted to show solidarity with Lineker, as well as former pros Wright and Shearer, and the PFA has confirmed players will not be able to speak to Match of the Day.

A statement from the PFA said: “We have been informed that players involved in tonight’s games will not be asked to participate in interviews with Match of the Day. The PFA spoke to members who wanted to take a common stance and show their support for those who chose not to be part of today’s program.

“During these discussions we made it clear that as their union we would support any members who may face consequences for choosing not to meet their broadcasting obligations.

“This is a sensible decision that ensures players are not put in that position now.”

Six leading match-of-the-day commentators also stated that they would not be participating in Saturday’s program. A joint statement from the group, which includes regular match-of-the-day commentators such as Steve Wilson and Conor McNamara, said: “It would not be appropriate to participate in the program.”

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