England v Belgium bumped off BBC 5 Live for Wales v Poland

Jude Bellingham
Jude Bellingham will get another outing for the national team on Tuesday - Carl Recine/Reuters

The BBC has chosen Wales’s match with Poland ahead of England’s against Belgium for live coverage on Radio 5 Live on Tuesday night.

The Three Lions’ final outing before Gareth Southgate picks his squad for this summer’s European Championship has been relegated to digital station Radio 5 Sports Extra after Wales’s Euro 2024 play-off final the same evening took precedence.

The England friendly is also being broadcast live by talkSPORT and is being televised by Channel 4, while Wales’s game is on the latter’s Welsh equivalent, S4C.

The lack of medium-wave radio coverage of the former fixture by the BBC comes amid this month’s closure of  Radio 4 long wave, which Telegraph Sport previously reported would leave tens of thousands of people were in danger of being unable to tune in to Test Match Special .

Plans unveiled for the corporation to build a “digital-first public service media organisation” included scrapping the analogue arm of one of its most iconic stations. The move, branded “dreadful” by former England captain Sir Geoffrey Boycott, risked preventing people listening to TMS unless they have access to a digital radio or the internet, something millions of Britons still do not enjoy.

Boycott, who retired from TMS in 2020, told Telegraph Sport: “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

“It’s a dreadful thing. But they have no idea, the people running the Beeb. Lots of good people work for the Beeb. But the bosses? My God. They wouldn’t get a job in the real world.”

Henry Blofeld, a TMS commentator for 45 years until his retirement in 2017, said: “Anything that restricts the coverage of TMS and the amount of people who are going to listen to it is extremely sad.

“It’s always been a little bit surprising that the BBC have such a programme that has been such a winner over such a long time but are still reluctant to showcase it as a winner.

“If another long-wave home is not found for it, this must be the case again, mustn’t it?”


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