The BBC are reportedly planning a special award for Manchester United and England striker Marcus Rashford for his work tackling child food poverty.
Sportsmail exclusively revealed that the popular footballer is set to miss out on the shortlist for the main Sports Personality of the Year award due to long-standing criteria which state that the shortlist must reflect ‘sporting achievements’.
Marcus Rashford is being touted for a special award by the BBC for his work tackling poverty
The Man United star was odds-on favourite due to his campaigning for free school meals
Mayor of Greater Manchester Andy Burnham has led calls for the BBC to include Rashford on the main shortlist.
Gary Lineker, who will co-host the awards show in Salford this winter, also described Rashford as a ‘very worthy winner’.
A judging panel will meet next month to decide the shortlist and, while the criteria for 2020 has not yet been confirmed and the panel have the right to make alterations, it has been set in stone for several years.
But it is not anticipated to change unless there is a significant reaction to the public pressure.
Public support for the England international had seen him leap ahead of Lewis Hamilton
The current SPOTY conditions state: ‘The panel 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 UK sports; and takes into account ‘impact’ of the person’s sporting achievement beyond the sport in question.’
The SPOTY shortlist is decided by a panel of usually 12 people, which includes representatives from the BBC and the sports industry and is chaired by Barbara Slater, director of BBC Sport.
The panel is given a list of the top sports people of the year compiled by the SPOTY production team, although they can consider other candidates.
The panel then produce a shortlist based on a ‘consensus view’.
Cricketer Ben Stokes won Sports Personality of the Year in 2019 as 10,000 people attended
With Lewis Hamilton, who just surpassed Michael Schumacher for the most race wins in Formula One with 92, the new favourite, attention has turned to other ways to recognise Rashford’s work.
The Special Achievement Award, which has been touted as one option for the BBC, has been handed out on just five previous occasions.
Previously recipients include marathon runner Dennis Moore, comedians Eddie Izzard and David Walliams, jockey Lester Piggott, and Sebastian Coe.
Coe was recognised for his role in bringing the Summer Olympic Games to London back in 2012.
England cricket sensation Ben Stokes won BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2019.