I suspect we’ve seen Gary Lineker on Match of the Day for the LAST time after he was pulled off air, pundit reveals

ALASTAIR Campbell believes Gary Lineker may have presented Match of the Day for the last time.

Mr Lineker, 62, was pulled off the show on Friday following a free speech row.

Alastair Campbell believes Gary Lineker may have presented Match of the Day for the last timeRex

AlamyMr Lineker, 62, was pulled off the show on Friday following a free speech row[/caption]

The corporation said the pundit’s criticism of the Government’s Illegal Migration Bill on Twitter was a “breach of our guidelines”.

Mr Lineker will now 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 as scores of pundits refused to present tomorrow’s episode in solidarity with Mr Lineker, the BBC said the show would go ahead but without presenters.

Speaking to Sky News on Friday, Mr Campbell said this may be the end for Mr Lineker’s presenting of the football analysis show.

The former spin doctor – who hosts a podcast run by Lineker’s media firm Goalhanger Podcasts – explained: “Because Gary Lineker does have values…

“And he does have principles, I suspect we’ve seen him on Match of the Day for the last time.”

He added: “And I suspect that with Alan Shearer – and I thank and praise him for that – because I think he’s doing the right thing.

“There’s a very famous phrase, ‘never be a bystander’.”

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 row was triggered when he responded to a video on Twitter of Home Secretary Suella Braverman as she presented the Government’s small boats 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.”

Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Mark Chapman and Micah Richards all refused to fill in amid the chaos.

Ian Wight was the first to boycott the show when 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.

PACo-host Ian Wright became the first pundit to boycott Match of the Day in solidarity with Gary Lineker[/caption]

AlamyAlan Shearer has joined Ian Wright in boycotting Match of the Day tomorrow night[/caption]

GettyAnd Alex Scott shared a meme sayin: ‘Nah… not for me’[/caption]

PAJermaine Jenas ruled himself out as well[/caption]

AlamyMicah Richard’s says he backed the pundits in their decision[/caption]

PAMark Chapman also ruled himself out[/caption]

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