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  • The pundit has been withdrawn over fears of angry reaction from home fans 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

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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