World Cup: Who is Alex Scott? Everything you need to know about the BBC Sports presenter

Watch: Alex Scott defends covering Qatar World Cup

Alex Scott has been praised by fans for wearing a OneLove armband on air as she presented the BBC’s Qatar World Cup coverage in the capital city of Doha.

The 38-year-old former Lioness defender wore the anti-discrimination symbol as England beat Iran 6-2 in their opening match.

The band contains the rainbow colours associated with the Pride flag. Qatar is a country which criminalises same-sex relationships.

While some England and Wales players were planning to wear the rainbow-coloured armbands in their World Cup matches, they did not go ahead after FIFA threatened them with sporting sanctions.

But Scott received a whole host of positive comments after wearing the band while presenting coverage of the match.

Read more: England World Cup WAGs: Meet the players' other halves supporting them in Qatar

Alex Scott has been praised for wearing the OneLove armband during her World Cup coverage. (BBC Sport)
Alex Scott has been praised for wearing the OneLove armband during her World Cup coverage. (BBC Sport)

“I have immense amounts of respect for Alex Scott, standing up for what she believes in no matter the consequences,” one user wrote.

Meanwhile Pride in Football, which represents LGBT+ fan groups in the UK, also wrote on Twitter: “England may not be wearing the #OneLove armband, but @AlexScott is right now on BBC.

“This is more than just LGBTQ+ rights, this is Human Rights.”

As the BBC presenter is applauded for taking a stand, here's everything you need to know about the footballer turned broadcaster in nine points.

Alex Scott: Everything you need to know about the footballer turned presenter in nine points

Who is Alex Scott? Scott is a 38-year-old former Lioness defender turned sports presenter.

Born in London, Scott made 140 appearances for the England national team and represented Great Britain at the 2012 Summer Olympics.

First spotted and signed by Arsenal at the age of eight in 1992, Scott went on to play for the team on three different occasions while also playing for Birmingham City for a short time and having a stint in the US until her retirement in 2018.

Stock picture of Alex Scott in November 2022. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)
Alex Scott is a football player turned TV presenter. (Getty Images)

What does she do now? While still playing football, Scott started appearing on our televisions via stints on programmes such as Soccer AM, with other minor roles at BBC Sport, Sky Sports, and BT Sport.

Then in 2018 Scott made history as the first female Sky pundit on a Sky Sports Super Sunday.

Scott took over from Dan Walker as host of BBC show Football Focus in the summer of 2021, becoming the show's first permanent female host in its 47-year history.

She also joined the BBC World Cup commentary line-up and will this year present Sports Personality Of The Year 2022.

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She has appeared on reality TV. As well as winning Bear Grylls’ ITV show Mission Survive in 2016, and appearing on Who Do You Think You Are?, in 2019 Scott swapped her football boots for dancing shoes as a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Partnered with professional dancer Neil Jones, the couple were eliminated in week 11, coming fifth.

Scott remains friends with former dance partner jones and previously praised the show: "I’ve literally lived out another dream – I had football and then this chapter."

Stock picture of Alex Scott on the red carpet in October 2022. (Photo by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images)
Alex Scott has appeared on a number of reality TV shows, including Strictly. (Getty Images)

She has an MBE. In 2017 she was awarded an MBE (Member of the Order of the British Empire) for her services to football.

After retiring from international football in 2017 and making more than 100 appearances for the England women's football team, Scott received the award in the 2017 New Years Honours List, taking her mum and her 'nan' with her to receive the honour.

"I knew the importance of having the women around me who have been my inspiration – my mum and my nan," she said of the occasion. "We went to The Ritz for surprise afternoon tea and that’s my last happy memory of my nan, as she passed away soon after."

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She issued a statement on the Qatar controversy. Scott and many other presenters of the World Cup coverage have received some backlash because of Qatar’s laws on homosexuality and its treatment of migrant workers.

While Scott respects that many people will want to boycott this year’s World Cup, she has defended her decision to present the games.

“I totally understand their reasons as well as a whole heap of fans from around the world from the LGBTQ+ community not wanting to travel here,” Scott said on BBC Sport.

“I’m here because I love my job and, when I think about it, sitting here and having the harder conversations: we’re talking about the migrant workers, LGBTQ+ community, we’re talking about women’s rights.

“You think about four years ago, I was the first female pundit for the BBC at a World Cup. You think how far we’ve moved in four years. Let’s hope, in the next four years, we’re never having to have these conversations again.”

She prefers to keep her love life private. In a 2022 memoir How (Not) To Be Strong, Scott said that she and Arsenal and England teammate Kelly Smith were in a relationship from 2005 to 2013.

While she says she fell “madly and deeply in love” with Smith, Scott has not explicitly labelled her sexuality and has been in relationships with both men and women.

It is not known whether she is currently in a relationship as she chooses to keep her romantic life as private as possible.

In an interview with Michelle Visage in 2020, she said: "After watching Normal People I've realised I've been single for a while now and I need to make more of an effort because I'm ready to have someone in my life."

Stock picture of Alex Scott at the GQ Awards in November 2022. (Getty Images)
The presenter has spoken out about her experiences of misogyny. (Getty Images)

Scott has struggled with online trolls. The TV presenter previously opened up about being targeted on social media over false reports that she had been chosen to replace Sue Barker as the new host of A Question Of Sport, a role which actually went to Paddy McGuinness.

“That was at a level that I was scared for my life," she admitted, saying she received death threats.

“I was scared to leave my house to even go to the shop. That’s the stage that we’d got to – that, oh my gosh, someone black might be replacing a national treasure could cause such hatred.”

Scott briefly turned to drinking in a bid to cope with the upset, The Times reports.

The football pundit says she is a proponent of therapy, which she sought after the abuse.

“I take lessons from what’s happened to me. I wouldn’t be the person I am without all this”, she said.

She stood up for herself when her accent was criticised. Scott has said she is “proud of my accent” after former Labour minister and ex-House of Lords member, Digby Jones, commented on her pronunciation.

In a tweet Lord Jones wrote: “Alex Scott spoils a good presentational job on the BBC Olympics Team with her very noticeable inability to pronounce her ‘g’s at the end of a word”.

Scott hit back by saying she was proud to be from a working class family in east London.

“I’m from a working class family in East London, Poplar, Tower Hamlets & I am PROUD,” she tweeted.

“Proud of the young girl who overcame obstacles, and proud of my accent! It’s me, it’s my journey, my grit.

“A quick one to any young kids who may not have a certain kind of privilege in life.

“Never allow judgments on your class, accent, or appearance (to) hold you back.

“Tweets like this just give me the energy to keep going.”

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She has spoken out about misogyny. Despite being on the receiving end of misogynistic comments, Scott is determined not to let the remarks impact her presenting career, saying she feels it is her “responsibility to change perceptions”.

Scott told the Radio Times that the transition from football star to TV pundit has not been easy.

“I’ve had so many tweets saying I should be at home ironing or cooking," she said.

“I don’t care about those, but sometimes people threaten my life and those have to be taken seriously.

“It’s my responsibility to change perceptions by sitting in that chair and talking about football.”

Additional reporting PA.