VINCENT KOMPANY’S FA Cup return to Manchester City could be the next high-profile victim of the Gary Lineker Tweet storm.
Kompany takes his Burnley side to the Etihad for a tea-time kick-off next Saturday that is due to be screened by the BBC.
But unless there is a resolution to the row that has rocked the Corporation, fans tuning in may just see the match without any build-up or post-game reaction – and with a break for other programming at half-time.
Burnley’s clash at City and Sunday’s last eight tie between Brighton and Grimsby are now at risk of being scaled-down productions as the crisis continues.
The FA will hope for a resolution over the coming days although talks with broadcasters may take place if the situation escalates further.
BBC sport output was slashed yesterday as presenters, pundits and commentators on television AND radio refused to work in protest at Lineker’s effective suspension.
After the Beeb announced on Friday that last night’s edition of Match of the Day would be composed purely of match highlights with no studio presentation or punditry, the knock-on effect was felt across the network.
Presenter Alex Scott and others pulled out of the lunchtime Football Focus show, which was replaced by Bargain Hunt.
Final Score’s lead presenter Jason Mohammad and his colleagues also joined the boycott in protest at the treatment of Lineker, with the Beeb scheduling The Repair Shop instead.
And the backlash spread to Radio Five Live, initially with Colin Murray confirming the live recording of Fighting Talk would not take place “for obvious reasons”.
BETTING SPECIAL – BEST FOOTBALL BETTING SITES IN THE UK
With presenter Mark Chapman withdrawing his services along with the scheduled Prem commentators, there was no Sport on Five either, with a series of pre-recorded podcasts filling the airwaves.
The growing off-field drama saw Prem chiefs intervene to ensure players at yesterday’s six games were not put in a position where they would be embarrassed by being asked to appear in front of the BBC cameras for post-match interviews.
In a statement, the PFA said: “We have been informed that players involved in today’s games will not be asked to participate in interviews with Match of the Day
“The PFA have been speaking to members who wanted to take a collective position and to be able to show their support for those with chosen not to be part of tonight’s programme
“During those conversations we make 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 put in that position.”
The expectation is that Match of the Day 2 tomorrow night will also be a pundit and presenter-free zone after Jermain Defoe announced: “It is always a privilege to work with BBC MOTD.
“But tomorrow I have taken the decision to stand down from my punditry duties.”
In addition to the live FA Cup ties, next weekend’s Match of the Day broadcasts could again be affected, although there would then be a two-week window for the March international break which could allow time to find a solution.