BBC Final Score and Football Focus cancelled after pundits and commentators refuse to appear

‘It just doesn’t feel right’

The BBC’s Football Focus and Final Score episodes have been axed after more presenters and pundits pulled out Saturday as the Gary Linker impartiality row intensifies.

Alex Scott, who is the main presenter of both BBC One analysis shows, quit Saturday lunchtime’s show, along with fellow presenter Kelly Somers.

Scott, a former Arsenal women’s player, tweeted two hours before today’s episode was due to air, writing that “it doesn’t feel right for me to go ahead with the show today”.

Final Score presenter, Jason Mohammad, also pulled out, with the former England player tweeting: “I made a decision last night that even though I love Football Focus and we have an incredible week winning an SJA award, that it just doesn’t feel right going ahead with the show today. Hopefully, I will be back in the chair next week.”

Sky News reported that Glenn Murray and Anita Asante were due to be the pundits on today’s show.

Mohammad said he also wouldn’t be on the BBC’s results programme on Saturday afternoon.

On Friday, the BBC announced that Lineker would be “stepping back” from his hosting role on the football highlights show, Match of the Day (MOTD), until they found an “agreed and clear position” on his use of social media.

The 62-year-old has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum policy with 1930s Germany on Twitter. In response to a Home Office video – in which home secretary Suella Braverman shared plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats – the former footballer wrote that the language used was “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.

MOTD will go ahead this weekend, but without a presenter, pundits or commentators, airing only matches for the first time in its 59-year history.

Following the BBC’s announcement, fellow MOTD presenters including Ian Wright and Alan Shearer pulled out, and then commentators including Steve Wilson, Conor McNamara, Robyn Rowen and Steven Wyeth, said they would not appear.

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