Manchester United star Marcus Rashford will reportedly no longer be shortlisted for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
Best known for his exploits on the pitch for United, Rashford rose to prominence this year thanks to his work off the pitch, highlighting the need to feed children through the government’s free school meals program.
Over the summer, Rashford’s actions forced the government to turn around and get an extension of the plan.
With a tough winter for families expected, the 22-year-old called on the government to continue supplying mid-term and over the Christmas holidays.
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The petition was rejected by the government, but in response local councils and businesses pledged to support Rashford, who posted information about the services available on social media.
Rashford’s activism has led to him being asked to be nominated for the BBC Sports Personality of the Year, which will take place on December 20.
But the current rules state that an appointment must be based on “sporting results”.
Unless there is a change in criteria, Rashford is unlikely to miss anything and, according to the Daily Mail, BBC officials are aware of the possible “backlash” they could receive.
Rashford could be lined up for the Helen Rollason award, which rewards “outstanding achievement in the face of adversity”.
Meanwhile, West Ham co-chair David Sullivan has donated £ 25,000 for free meals through the Fareshare charity, which Rashford has supported.
Sullivan said, “Marcus Rashford has done a fantastic job in raising awareness and leading the way in addressing this very important issue, which impacts so many young people in our local communities up and down the country.
“It is a privilege to be able to help.
“Nationally, the impact of the Taskforce on child food poverty will be enormous.
“Although closer to home, I am really proud that the club has been supporting free school meals during the school holidays for years and we have seen what a continuing difference it is making in our local community.”