BBC ‘risks silent Match of the Day’ after commentators join walkout

Match of the Day 2 is also expected to be cut to a shorter programme (BBC/Pete Dadds)

Match of the Day could be entirely silent tonight unless the BBC are able to secure alternative commentary rights, according to reports.

All six Match of the Day commentators scheduled to work today’s games joined the boycott of the programme following the BBC’s decision to suspend Gary Lineker over his use of social media.

The BBC said on Friday night that Match of the Day would be shown “without studio presentation or punditry” after Ian Wright and Alan Shearer stepped down out of “solidarity” with Lineker.

It was thought the BBC would be able to use the Premier League’s ‘World Feed’ to replace their own commentators but the Daily Mail, among others, are reporting that the broadcaster has been unable to secure the rights.

Match of the Day could therefore be forced to show match footage without sound, unless BBC bosses are able to find a solution before 10:20pm tonight.

The BBC have meanwhile apologised for “limited sport programming this weekend” after Football Focus and Final Score were axed from the afternoon’s schedule.

The programmes were pulled after hosts Alex Scott and Jason Mohammed said they would not appear on air.

It comes after the BBC ruled Lineker’s criticism of the government’s new asylum policy had breached their impartiality guidelines.