Gary Lineker has stepped back from presenting Match of the Day with a temporary host poised to replace him this weekend.
The move from the BBC comes after an impartiality row over comments Lineker made criticising the government’s new asylum policy.
The BBC, who hailed Lineker as “second to none” at leading football and sports coverage, insisted his comments on Twitter “to be a breach of our guidelines” before advising the former England international “to keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies”.
Lineker will be absent from the Premier League highlights show “until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media”.
Here are five contenders to step in for Gary Lineker on Match of the Day this weekend:
A seasoned broadcaster capable of presenting any sport, the current Match of the Day 2 presenter is an easy option to slot into the main programme.
Used by the BBC during their World Cup coverage too, the 49-year-old has almost three decades of experience working for the corporation.
A favourite of the BBC from her time presenting Final Score and Sports Personality of the Year.
Logan is also versatile with experience covering a number of sports and starred during the BBC’s Qatar World Cup coverage.
The Welsh presenter already hosts Final Score, the BBC’s live results show, on Saturday afternoons and has been doing so since 2013. Mohammed has also hosted Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2 before, deputising for Lineker and Chapman.
The former Tottenham player and England international is a regular pundit on Match of the Day and hosts the One Show on BBC One alongside Alex Jones. Jenas could therefore fill in for Lineker, but it would be first time hosting Match of the Day.
The former Arsenal and England footballer began her media career whilst still playing, appearing as a pundit for BBC Sport, Sky Sports and BT Sport.
She has since presented Goals on Sunday on Sky, has regularly co-presented BBC Sports Personality of the Year awards and featured as a guest presenter on The One Show.
Th 38-year-old also replaced Dan Walker in 2021 as the main host of Football Focus. She appeared as a pundit for the BBC during the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
Balding has worked as a reporter, commentator and presenter for the BBC since 1995 and was this week announced as the lead presenter for the BBC’s coverage of Wimbledon, replacing Sue Barker.
The 52-year-old has worked on numerous other major sporting events for the BBC, including seven summer Olympic Games.
Next permanent Match Of The Day host odds
7-4 Jermaine Jenas
2-1 Alex Scott
8-1 Mark Chapman
10-1 Gabby Logan
12-1 Manish Bhasin
25-1 Colin Murray
33-1 James Corden
100-1 Piers Morgan