Marcus Rashford is expected to be left out of the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year list despite being the bookmaker’s favorite to win the award.
The Manchester United striker was tipped to claim the award in December following his high-profile and popular campaign of free school meals.
More Sports messaging understands that Rashford, 22, is likely to miss out based on long-standing criteria for the award that say the shortlist should reflect ‘athletic achievement’.
Marcus Rashford is set to miss the BBC’s 2020 Sports Personality of the Year list
The Man United star was the favorite due to his campaign for free school meals
A jury will meet next month to decide on the shortlist and while the criteria for 2020 have yet to be confirmed and the jury has the right to make changes, it has been set in stone since. several years.
It is not expected to change unless there is a reaction to public pressure.
BBC bosses are aware of the potential for backlash if Rashford is not included and would seek to honor him somehow during the December 20 show – which is held in Salford without the general public usual due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Rashford would be in the running for the Helen Rollason Award, awarded for “outstanding achievement in the face of adversity,” or a new award could be created to recognize his attempt to end child hunger.
Public support for England international saw him beat Lewis Hamilton
The shortlist is usually announced at the end of November, although in 2018 it was only revealed on the evening of the program – an option the BBC may choose to repeat this year in an attempt to avoid a debate long standing on Rashford.
Public support for Rashford has seen him leap over Formula 1 record holder Lewis Hamilton as the bookies favorite for the trophy, but it is causing a big headache for the BBC.
The current SPOTY conditions state: “The jury will select a shortlist using the following criteria: reflects UK sporting achievements on the national and / or international stage; represents the breadth and depth of British sports; and takes into account the “impact” of the person’s sporting success beyond the sport in question ”.
The popular 22-year-old is on the verge of missing as the prize is tied to sporting achievements
The SPOTY shortlist is decided by a 12-person panel, which includes representatives from the BBC and the sports industry and is chaired by Barbara Slater, Director of BBC Sport.
The jury receives a list of the best sportsmen of the year compiled by the SPOTY production team, although they may consider other nominees.
The panel then produces a shortlist based on a “consensus view”.
If consensus cannot be reached, a vote is taken. The criteria have not changed since 2012 – the year after the BBC was criticized for having no women on a shortlist of 10.
BBC News has covered the Rashford campaign extensively this year.
It is understood that Rashford would be shortlisted for the Helen Rollason Award in December
However, match-of-the-day commentator Guy Mowbray was blasted on Twitter last weekend after presenting coverage of United’s game with Chelsea saying: ‘Whether or not you agree with Marcus’ causes Rashford, there is surely only admiration for his continued commitment to them. “
Mowbray explained that “impartiality broadcast rules mean things have to be worded a certain way” before deleting his social media account.
West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has joined Rashford’s campaign for free school meals during the holidays by donating £ 25,000, while Manchester United will provide 5,000 meals to vulnerable children during the mid-break. October in partnership with the charity FareShare.