The BBC has announced Gary Lineker has been pulled from presenting duties for Match of the Day following the fallout from his tweet criticising the government’s migrant policy.
As a show of solidarity, fellow pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright both declared they would not appear on Saturday’s episode either.
Shearer tweeted: “I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night”, while Wright had posted: “Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”
Here is a list of potential contenders who could fill Lineker’s shoes.
• Gabby Logan – Started off at ITV as one of the few sports female presenters covering two Champions League finals before shifting to the BBC in 2006. She’s filled in for Gary Lineker on Match of the Day many times before and was at the forefront of England Women’s Euro triumph last year.
• Mark Chapman – Aka “Chappers”. He’s a familiar face of Match of the Day 2 and features on BBC radio with Sports Report on 5 Live. He has also presented the Carabao Cup matches on Sky Sports this season.
• Alex Scott – Former right-back for Arsenal Women and England, works for the BBC as a presenter and pundit, but ruled herself out from presenting the show by tweeting a GIF which read: “Nah! Not me”.
• Adrian Chiles – Making headway as a financial broadcaster on BBC’s Working Lunch, the Birmingham-born broadcaster has a wealth of past football presenting experience including Match of the Day 2, Euro 2008 on the BBC and ITV football coverage. He previously hosted The One Show and Daybreak.
• Jermaine Jenas – The former Newcastle, Tottenham and England midfielder usually appears as a pundit on Match of the Day, and also features on BT Sport. He’s demonstrated his nous for presenting on The One Show but on Friday tweeted he would not be replacing Lineker on Saturday.
• Colin Murray – The Northern Irish radio and TV presenter has juggled various roles over his career including Match of the Day 2 back in 2010 for three years. He’s also been on TalkSPORT, before a return to BBC Radio 5 Live as a presenter of various shows.
• Manish Bhasin – From Leicester, Manish has presented multiple football shows including The Championship, The Football League Show, and some World Cup and Euro Matches. He has also deputised on Match of the Day 2.
• Robbie Savage – The former Wales midfielder is a BBC pundit, presents the call-in show 606 on Radio 5 Live and is a regular on BT Sport.
Here are a few possibilities to offer analysis from the sidelines in place of Shearer and Wright.
• Danny Murphy – The former Liverpool and Fulham midfielder is often at the side of Lineker on Match of the Day. The former England man joined the show as a pundit in 2013.
• Martin Keown – This former no-nonsense defender for Arsenal with over 400 appearances for the Gunners features as a pundit on Match of the Day and BT Sport domestic and European games.
• Dion Dublin – Dion made a surprising move to present Homes Under the Hammer in 2015, but the former Aston Villa and Coventry forward is a regular on Match of the Day as a pundit. He is also the Cambridge United club director.
• Leon Osman – Having spent most of his career at Everton, Leon hung his boots up in 2016 and moved to punditry. He’s been on Sky Sports, BT Sport, Match of the Day and BBC Radio Five Live.
• Micah Richards – Known for “bursting onto the scene” as a young right back for Manchester City and England, Micah tweeted that he wouldn’t be working on Match of the Day tomorrow. It read: “I was not due to be working on MOTD tomorrow, but if I was, I would find myself taking the same decision that Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have.”