‘No point watching now’ – BBC face huge backlash from footie fans after Gary Lineker is taken off air for migrants tweet
FOOTBALL fans have put the boot into the BBC and some claim they will boycott Match of the Day after Gary Lineker was taken off air.
Many viewers are furious the Beeb made the presenter “step back” following his tweet attacking the government’s new immigration policy.
The BBC say England legend Gary Lineker is ‘stepping back’ from MOTD while a ‘clear’ policy on his use of social media is agreedAlamy
Ian Wright revealed he is showing ‘solidarity as he and Alan Shearer decline to go on MOTD this weekend in the absence of LinekerNews Group Newspapers Ltd
Fellow ex-England players Ian Wright, Alan Shearer and Jermaine Jenas, plus former Lionesses star Alex Scott, then refused to appear on the show as a sign of support for Lineker.
That forced the BBC to decide there would be NO HOSTS at all this weekend.
The BBC say former Tottenham and Barcelona striker Lineker will be absent “until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media”.
But fans rushed in with comments like: “Oh no, cancel all EPL games tomorrow, no one to host MOTD.”
Another said: “Lineker gets yellow card and sends off Wright and Shearer.”
A third vowed: “I’ll not be watching MOTD until he’s reinstated. Power to Lineker…”
The ex-Leicester City hero sparked huge controversy this week when he compared Government language used over the Illegal Migration Bill to that of 1930s’ Germany.
Tories, including home secretary Suella Braverman, criticised Lineker for his “slur” and accused him of breaching BBC impartiality rules.
But others, including hordes of football followers, have backed Lineker for both his opinion and his right to speak out.
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And MOTD fans appear frustrated he will sit out Saturday’s show.
One posted: “Not a massive fan of Lineker but he is Match of the Day, no point watching now.”
A second viewer wrote: “It is heartening to see Lineker’s colleagues standing in solidarity with him against the BBC.”
Another said: “Tragic if we never see him on MOTD again but I stand with @GaryLineker.”
HOW IT STARTED
The row was triggered when Mr Lineker 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.”