Alex Scott, the host of the BBC’s “Football Focus” TV programme in Britain, said it “does not feel right” to appear on the show on Saturday after the broadcaster took presenter Gary Lineker off air over his criticism of the government’s asylum policy.
Other presenters have also pulled out of BBC appearances after former England soccer captain Lineker, who presents the flagship “Match of the Day” soccer highlights programme, was taken off air by the BBC on Friday.
“I made a decision last night that even though I love doing football focus and we have had an incredible week winning an SJA award that it just doesn’t feel right going ahead with the show today,” former England and Arsenal defender Scott wrote on Twitter.
“Hopefully I will be back in the chair next week…,” she added.
The row began after Lineker, the BBC’s highest-paid presenter, described new government legislation on migrants as a “cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.”
The BBC said there had to be an agreed position on Lineker’s use of social media before he could return to the broadcaster.
Jason Mohammad, who presents the BBC’s “Final Score”, also said on Saturday that he has pulled out of his programme.
“As you know, Final Score is a TV show very close to my heart,” Mohammad wrote on Twitter.
“However — I have this morning informed the BBC that I will not be presenting the show this afternoon on BBC One.”
Presenter Kelly Sommers, who has appeared on a number of BBC shows, wrote on Twitter on Saturday: “just to confirm I won’t be on BBC television today.”
The BBC said that neither “Football Focus” nor “Final Score” would air on Saturday.
Earlier on Saturday, the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) said a number of players had suggested they wanted to show solidarity with Lineker and other pundits on the programme.
“The PFA have been speaking to members who wanted to take a collective position and to be able to show their support for those who have chosen not to be part of tonight’s programme,” the PFA said in a statement.
“During those conversations we made clear that, as their union, we would support all members who might face consequences for choosing not to complete their broadcast commitments. This is a common sense decision that ensures players won’t now be in that position.”