The BBC are set to scout out a new presenter for Match of the Day with Gary Lineker taking a step back from his duties. The former England star is embroiled in a row with the broadcasting corporation over his social media usage, having recently criticised the government’s asylum policy.
With the position currently vacant, talk is sure to turn to who could be next in the hotseat. Lineker had presented the hit football show, which provides highlights and analysis from the day’s matches, since 1999.
However, a BBC statement indicates that he won’t return until an agreement is reached on his social media usage. “Extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days,” said a spokesperson for the broadcaster. “We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.
“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.” Arsenal hero Ian Wright has since withdrawn from this Saturday’s edition of the show in ‘solidarity’ with Lineker. The BBC refused to add further comment when approached by Express Sport.
With that in mind, Express Sport takes you through five candidates in the frame for a position which hasn’t been vacant in over two decades…
The former Lionesses star is among the front-runners to take Lineker’s place, having made a positive impression since breaking onto TV screens as a pundit and presenter. Spending most of her career with Arsenal and racking up 140 international appearances in the process, she certainly has the footballing pedigree under her belt, as well as a portfolio of BBC presenting roles including Sports Personality of the Year and guest appearances on The One Show. She did, however, hint via social media on Friday night that she would not consider the role.
Like Scott, Jenas was a full England international, while he also boasts over 250 Premier League appearances for the likes of Tottenham and Newcastle. The 40-year-old has even transitioned from punditry duties to presenting roles with the likes of BT Sport and the BBC, including becoming a permanent fixture on The One Show.
Another candidate from a football background, Dublin is part of an elite group of players to have notched over 100 Premier League goals during their careers. The 53-year-old regularly provides pundittry on Match of the Day and has TV presenting credentials too, appearing on BBC property show Homes Under the Hammer since 2015.