Chapman will not host 5Live on Saturday afternoon

Now 5Live’s football coverage is AXED as Mark Chapman pulls out of Saturday’s show… after the BBC was also forced to drop Football Focus and Final Score due to boycotts from presenters in response to Gary Lineker row

  • Gary Lineker will not host Match of the Day on Saturday evening after tweet row
  • Mark Chapman will not host 5Live sport’s Saturday coverage in solidarity 
  • Becomes the latest BBC colleague of Lineker’s to boycott the corporation 

Mark Chapman will not host this afternoon’s 5Live sport coverage and there will be no live BBC commentary of Saturday’s football matches in a remarkable development. 

The news follows Friday’s astonishing turn of events that Gary Lineker would not host this evening’s edition of Match of the Day after he was suspended by the BBC following a controversial tweet earlier this week in which he likened the Conservative party’s latest migrant policy to like something out of Germany in the 1930s.  

The Footballers’ Football Podcast, hosted by Newcastle’s Callum Wilson and West Ham’s Michail Antonio, will be broadcast instead.  

It sparked a raft of broadcaster boycotts which began with Ian Wright and Alan Shearer announcing they would not fulfil their punditry roles on Saturday night’s show, before Chapman became the latest. While presenters such as Alex Scott and Kelly Sommers soon followed suit, meaning Football Focus on Saturday lunchtime was scrapped from the schedule.  

The BBC said Lineker would be stepping back from his Match of the Day duties ‘until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media’. 

Mark Chapman has become the latest broadcaster to boycott the BBC’s sports coverage

Chapman’s decision follows the likes of Shearer and Wright following Lineker’s standing down from the corporation as a result of a controversial tweet

Chapman, who hosts a number of shows across the BBC’s television and radio networks, including their Saturday afternoon sport coverage on 5Live, Match of the Day Two on Sunday evenings and the Monday Night Club, has become the latest presenter to push back against the BBC’s decision to suspend Lineker. 

It was speculated following the news that there would be no live football coverage that 5Live could instead provide rugby commentary. 

The news comes as it emerged Colin Murray would not be in the studio to host his Saturday morning show Fighting Talk. 

Chapman’s decision to step away from hosting 5Live’s coverage on Saturday afternoon has plunged the BBC into an even deeper crisis, with both their radio and television networks deeply impacted by the last 24 hours. 

‘No Fighting Talk today, for obvious reasons,’ Murray tweeted. ‘In the interest of transparency, this was a decision taken by the entire FT team and myself. Bob Mills was still up for it, to be fair.’

The crisis started when Lineker compared the Conservative party’s policy at stopping boats crossing the channel to something out of Germany in the 1930s. 

Various Tory politicians and figures rejected the former England striker’s relation, with Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, labelling them ‘unhelpful’.

‘I think it’s unhelpful to compare our measures, which are lawful, proportionate and – indeed – compassionate, to 1930s Germany,’ she said. 

It had seemed to have calmed down by Thursday however, with Lineker himself tweeting as much. He added that he was looking forward to hosting the BBC’s flagship highlights programme on Saturday evening. 

However, in a remarkable turn of events, it was announced on Friday that the broadcaster, who has hosted Match of the Day since 1999, would be stepping back from the programme until an agreement could be reached on his use of social media. 

‘The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines,’ the corporation announced.

‘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. 

‘When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none. We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.’

Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, Match of the Day stalwarts alongside Lineker, announced on Friday night they would not be appearing on Saturday’s show in support of their colleague and friend. 

‘I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night,’ Shearer said. 

Wright said that, despite the show meaning a lot to him, he could not appear and would not be appearing. 

Meanwhile, it was revealed that the Premier League had told clubs and players that they would be stood down from their post-match Match of the Day media duties. 

Gary Lineker was told that he either had to stop his politicised posts or quit the BBC altogether

The BBC programme is in ‘crisis’ with no presenters, pundits or commentators for the first time in its history after the corporation’s decision to boot Gary Lineker off air led to mass walkouts

The Premier League informed clubs that players and managers would be stood down from their post-match Match of the Day an BBC TV commitments during a chaotic Friday night.

It emerged on Saturday morning that the BBC had informed the Premier League that the 12 clubs playing today would not receive requests for interviews amid the controversial Lineker row.

Clubs playing on Sunday are awaiting on official guidance with regards to how they proceed for the BBC’s Match of the Day 2 show.

However, clubs believe that the blackout will continue unless there is a resolution in the next 24 hours.

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