Presenters and journalists who joined BBC boycott in solidarity with Lineker

Presenters and journalists who joined BBC boycott in solidarity with Lineker

The BBC’s football coverage was ripped up on Saturday as several more presenters and reporters withdrew in solidarity with Gary Lineker after the Match Of The Day presenter was stood down on Friday.

Neither Football Focus nor Final Score survived on BBC One, while 5 Live’s radio coverage was radically altered throughout the day.

Former England internationals Alan Shearer and Ian Wright announced on Friday their boycott of this weekend’s Match Of The Day.

Here the PA news agency looks at the high-profile presenters and journalists who joined them on Saturday.

– Alex Scott

The 38-year-old former Arsenal and England player was due to present Football Focus but said on Saturday morning that it “just doesn’t feel right going ahead with the show today”.

Scott has presented The One Show and has worked alongside Lineker as a presenter of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year programme.

She was also a contestant on one of the corporation’s flagship entertainment shows, Strictly Come Dancing, in 2019.

– Kelly Somers

After Scott’s announcement, Somers was seen as a potential contender to step in and present Football Focus, but posted her own message on social media to say she would not be working for the BBC on Saturday.

Somers began her career in Bournemouth’s media team before joining the Premier League.

Since going freelance she has worked for numerous broadcasters, and was the host of the BBC’s coverage of the 2019 Women’s World Cup, and covered England at Euro 2020.

– Jason Mohammad

Mohammad, 49, has presented Final Score since 2013.

The Welshman joined BBC Cymru Wales in 1997 and has also worked in rugby and snooker coverage, as well as deputising for Lineker and Mark Chapman on Match Of The Day and Match Of The Day 2.

– Mark Chapman

Match of the Day 2 presenter Chapman has not made any public comment regarding the situation but his absence from his regular slot on 5 Live Sport was notable on Saturday afternoon.

The 49-year-old broadcaster, also a regular on Sky Sports, has hosted the radio show since 2016, and has been at the helm of Match of the Day 2 since 2013.

– Dion Dublin

The former Manchester United, Coventry City and Aston Villa player is a regular on Football Focus, Match Of The Day and Final Score.

He was due to be part of 5 Live’s Premier League coverage on Saturday but said he would not appear in “solidarity” with his colleagues.

Dublin, 53, has built a growing media career in recent years, which extends to a presenting role on the BBC’s property show Homes Under The Hammer.

– Leon Osman

Like Dublin, former Everton midfielder Osman announced he would not appear on 5 Live’s coverage as planned.

The 41-year-old is a regular pundit on the BBC, BT Sport and Sky Sports.

– Colin Murray

It was not only the BBC’s Premier League coverage that was impacted on Saturday as morning talk show Fighting Talk was replaced by two football podcasts.

Murray, a former host of Match Of The Day 2 who also works on the broadcaster’s music output, wrote on Twitter that the decision was made “for obvious reasons” and was taken by “the entire FT team and myself”.

– Jermain Defoe

The first sign that the boycott will extend beyond Saturday’s coverage came when former England and Tottenham striker Jermain Defoe said he would not appear on Sunday evening’s Match Of The Day 2.