THE PREMIER LEAGUE has AXED six nominees from this year’s Hall of Fame shortlist.
It comes as a smaller group of nominees has been announced for 2023 after all six of the Prem icons were on a larger shortlist last year.
This year’s shortlist sees 15 stars nominated, down from the 25 nominees in 2022.
The names cut from the list are Matt Le Tissier, Patrice Evra, Teddy Sheringham, Edwin van der Sar, Robin van Persie and Ruud van Nistelrooy.
Southampton legend Le Tissier was cut after coming under fire for his controversial views relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, vaccines and the ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict.
Le Tissier, who was axed as a pundit by Sky Sports in 2020, claimed PCR tests were “the biggest fraud ever perpetuated on mankind”.
He also said images of destruction in Ukraine were “falsified” and reposted a Tweet claiming the media had “lied” about a number of stories.
Ex-Manchester United star Evra was taken off the list after being convicted in a Paris court over his use of homophobic language online.
Following a game between United and Paris-Saint Germain in 2019, Evra posted a clip online of him saying: “Paris, you are queers, you are queers.”
Stop Homophobia and Mousse launched a complaint in March 2019, with the 41-year-old landing a fine of £890 and being ordered to pay £1780 compensation to two anti-hate campaign groups.
After the conviction in February, Evra said: “I have so much to learn.”
Premier League sources insisted that the shortlist had been reduced as a result of the lower number of inductees and entirely on footballing criteria.
In addition, the Premier League added: “ New players become eligible each season upon their retirement from football.
“A number of other factors are also taken into account by the Premier League and the League’s Awards Panel.
“They include prior voting data for players included in previous Hall of Fame shortlists, eras, player positions and achievements.
“Each player will be considered according to these factors when compiling all future shortlists.”
Ex-Man Utd and Tottenham midfielder Michael Carrick has been joined by ex-Spurs and Sunderland ace Jermain Defoe in this year’s list as newcomers in this year’s list.
The Hall of Fame began in 2021 and has seen 16 players inducted into it so far.
Legendary managers Sir Alex Ferguson and Arsene Wenger became the first managers inducted into the list earlier this week.
They join the 16 players already in the list, which saw David Beckham, Dennis Bergkamp, Eric Cantona, Thierry Henry, Roy Keane, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard and Alan Shearer in the inaugural selection in 2021.
Last year brought the addition of Wayne Rooney and Patrick Vieira before Sergio Aguero, Didier Drogba, Vincent Kompany, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes and Ian Wright were all selected by fans.
Supporters have until 6pm on April 10 to cast their ballots via the Prem website, with the winners announced on May 3