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Harry Redknapp dropped by BT Sport for Portsmouth and Arsenal FA Cup tie over backlash fears

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Harry Redknapp dropped by BT Sport for FA Cup clash between Portsmouth and Arsenal due to fears of backlash from home supporters

  • BT Sport will not use Harry Redknapp for Portsmouth v Arsenal FA Cup clash
  • The pundit has been withdrawn over fears of angry reaction from home fans 
  • Redknapp won FA Cup with Pompey in 2008 in second of two spells in charge

BT Sport have decided not to use Harry Redknapp as a pundit for their live broadcast of the FA Cup fifth round clash between Portsmouth and Arsenal due to concerns he may be the target of abuse from home fans, according to the Portsmouth News.

The League One club will host the Gunners at Fratton Park on Monday March 2 as the lowest-ranked side remaining in the competition, with the clash inevitably picked up for television coverage. 

Redknapp has worked frequently for BT Sport on their coverage of Premier League and continental matches in the past, as well as appearing as a pundit on a host of other shows. 

Harry Redknapp will not be a pundit as Portsmouth face Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round

Harry Redknapp will not be a pundit as Portsmouth face Arsenal in the FA Cup fifth round

As a former Fratton Park boss, the 72-year-old was initally considered perfect to provide insight but as he would be based pitchside for part of the coverage, BT bosses felt he could be exposed to ill feeling form the stands. 

There were further reservations that any instances of abuse could be picked up by the cameras during the live broadcast. 

Redknapp enjoyed two successful periods as manager of the Fratton Park club between 2002 and 2004 and 2005 and 2008, culminating in winning the 2008 FA Cup. 

The 72-year-old is a regular pundit for BT Sport but will not be used over security concerns

The 72-year-old is a regular pundit for BT Sport but will not be used over security concerns

The 72-year-old is a regular pundit for BT Sport but will not be used over security concerns

However, he also managed rivals Southampton between 2004 and 2005 and left under a cloud for Tottenham in October 2008 as Pompey began a decline that would see the club end up in League Two by 2013. 

 Redknapp had to be given personal security when he returned to Fratton Park as Saints boss in April 2005 in a match his side lost 4-1.

Former Arsenal and Portsmouth defender Sol Campbell, currently manager of Southend, is now being considered as a possible pundit for the game. 



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Confirmed Team News: Chelsea vs Bayern Munich lineups

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Here is the confirmed team news ahead of this evening’s Champions League last-16 first leg between Chelsea and Bayern Munich at Stamford…

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Philippe Coutinho to Chelsea transfer boost, Man Utd target £81m Spain pair, Lionel Messi

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Eden Hazard injury

Zinedine Zidane is not sure if Eden Hazard will play for Real Madrid again this season.

The former Chelsea playmaker is facing another lay-off after fracturing an ankle in Real’s surprise defeat to Levante in LaLiga last weekend.

It was only the Belgian’s second appearance since November after recovering from another injury to the same ankle.

The loss of the 29-year-old, who is yet to make his mark since his £89million move from Stamford Bridge last summer, is a big blow to Zidane at the start of a crucial week.

Real host Manchester City on Wednesday in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie before facing arch-rivals Barcelona, who leapfrogged them to top spot in LaLiga last weekend, on Sunday.

“He loves playing football and while I can’t tell you what is in his eyes, I can see he is not happy,” Zidane said. “It’s important he stays positive but, of course, it’s difficult. It’s a bad moment, it won’t be easy and he will feel like that for a while.

“I do not know if he will have to go through an operation. It is not my area and I don’t know if his season is over, but I hope not.”

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Barcelona make Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang transfer decision amid Arsenal exit rumours

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“He’s already one of Arsenal’s highest earners, I think he’s the second highest after Mesut Ozil.

“But the issue is this is a team that’s rebuilding and they’re rebuilding to be competitive in a couple of years’ time.

“If keeping Aubameyang is going to mean a long-term contract that takes him up to 34 or 35 years old and ties you up with a ton of money, that might not be the right thing for Arsenal.

“So I think it’s going to depend on what sort of suitors are out there, who’s looking for a centre-forward?”

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