BBC announce Match of the Day WILL go ahead with NO presenters after Gary Lineker taken off air & hosts spark mutiny
MATCH of the Day will go ahead tomorrow – but WITHOUT presenters.
The BBC told The Sun the exodus of pundits following Gary Linker’s suspension means they will show only football.
PAThe BBC told The Sun the exodus of pundits following Gary Linker’s suspension means they will show only football[/caption]
No commentary or analysis will happen on Saturday night’s show.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary.
“We understand their position and we have decided that the programme will focus on match action without studio presentation or punditry.”
Mr Lineker sparked a free speech row when he compared the Governments plans to ban migrants arriving on small boats from settling in Britain with “1930’s Germany”.
The BBC said Mr Lineker’s criticism of the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill on Twitter was a “breach of our guidelines”.
The pundit was forced to step back from presenting duties on the flagship football show – that he’s presented since 1999 – until a “clear position” on his social media use is agreed.
But his suspension sparked chaos as scores of co-hosts of Match of the Day refused to appear in solidarity with the veteran presenter.
Mr Linker’s comments came as he responded to a video on Twitter of Home Secretary Suella Braverman as she presented the Government’s plan.
The legislation will see migrants swiftly detained and removed to either their country of origin or a safe third state within 28 days.
Sharing the clip, Mr Lineker said: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful.”
Responding to another user who described him as “out of order”, he added: “We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.
“This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”
In a statement earlier, the BBC outlined they had undergone “extensive discussions” with the ex-England star, 62, following the furore.
While the beeb praised his sports coverage as “second to none” they said he should “keep well away from taking sides” on party political topics.
The full statement read: “The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days.
“We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.
“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.
“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.
“We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”
Following the BBC’s suspension of Mr Lineker, Match of the Day co-host Ian Wight said he will boycott Saturday’s episode in “solidarity”.
He tweeted: “Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”
And Alan Shearer shortly followed suit, tweeting: “I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.”
Alex Scott later declared herself out of the race with a cryptic tweet of US politician Bernie Sanders saying: “Nah… not for me.”
And pundit Micah Richards backed the boycotters – saying he’d do the same if he was asked to host.
Jemaine Jenas also ruled himself out of presenting duties.
Mark Chapman – who presents Match of the Day 2 on Sunday – also said he would not stand in.