Rangers and Celtic icons join ITV’s World Cup team as broadcaster confirms Qatar line-up - with four Old Firm greats named

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McCoist, Hartson, Keane and Souness will all appear alongside a number of familiar faces during this winter’s tournament.

Rangers legend Ally McCoist and Celtic hero John Hartson have been announced as part of ITV’s commentary team to cover the FIFA World Cup in Qatar next month - alongside fellow Old Firm stars Roy Keane and Graeme Souness.

McCoist has grown in popularity as a co-commentator among viewers and his Scottish accent will be describing the action as it unfolds in the Middle East this winter, despite the absence of the national team. He will be joined by Welshman and ex-Hoops striker Hartson, who will take on a similar role.

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Former Ibrox manager and Liverpool great Souness is part of the line-up as a pundit in the studio along with Manchester United great Keane - known for his abrasive style - who spent half a season at his boyhood club before retiring on medical advice.

Roy Keane, Jose Mourinho and Graeme Souness sit in the television studio Roy Keane, Jose Mourinho and Graeme Souness sit in the television studio
Roy Keane, Jose Mourinho and Graeme Souness sit in the television studio | Getty Images

Other pundits to be named are Ian Wright, Gary Neville, Karen Carney, Joe Cole, Eniola Aluko, Nigel De John, Nadia Nadim and Hal Robson-Kanu.

Presenters Mark Pougatch, Laura Woods and Seema Jaswal will front ITV’s coverage, whic will be further complemented with referee analyst Peter Walton to break down and explain all the key on-field decisions.

Their pool of match commentators include Sam Matterface, Clive Tyldsley, Jon Champion, Seb Hutchinson, Joe Speight and Tom Gayle, with Lee Dixon and Andros Townsend joining McCoist and Hartson on co-comms.

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ITV Director of Sport, Niall Sloan, said: “The World Cup is the biggest sporting event of the year and ITV are committed to bring viewers the very best extensive coverage of the tournament accompanied by expert punditry and analysis.

“We will immerse viewers into the tournament with our live coverage, highlights shows, podcasts, online and social media content, ensuring viewers do not miss a minute of the action.”

The tournament will kick off on ITV (STV in Scotland) on November 21 with coverage of the first match between the Netherlands and Senegal.

Meanwhile, the BBC has slashed its broadcasting team after spending heavily on its coverage of Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine and the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

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The British Broadcasting Corporation, who have yet to release their television line-up, declined to comment on the extent of the staff cuts, how much money it would save licensee payers, or how much was spent on news coverage this year.

Lineker has worked with the BBC since his retirement from football in 1994Lineker has worked with the BBC since his retirement from football in 1994
Lineker has worked with the BBC since his retirement from football in 1994 | Getty Images

A spokesperson said: “The World Cup is a highly anticipated event on the global sports calendar and the BBC has a long, proud history of bringing major international football tournaments and thei associated coverage to the public.

“We are confident that we will provide comprehensive coverage of all the big stories related to the World Cup on our platforms, while recognising the need for value for money for license fee payers.”

Match of the Day presenter Gary Lineker is expected to anchor the BBC’s coverage, having done so at every World Cup since 2002, with Guy Mowbray and Steve Wilson the main commtentators. Alan Shearer and Rio Ferdinand are likely to be named as pundits, with Martin Keown and Danny Murphy on co-comms.

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