The BBC has confirmed presenter Gary Lineker will step down from his role on Match of the Day amid discussions about his use of social media.
Lineker, who criticizes government policy, says he violated guidelines. Will retire from his role for now
WHAT HAPPENED? Lineker has been in the spotlight after he tweeted a tweet criticizing the government’s asylum seeker policy. The former England captain wrote: “Gosh, that’s awful” in response to a video message from Home Secretary Suella Braverman about blocking people from crossing the Channel in small boats. The TV presenter was then challenged in his position, describing the language of the government as “not unlike that used in Germany in the 1930s”.
WHAT THEY SAID: The BBC has now confirmed that talks are needed with Lineker over impartiality and his use of social media and he will not present the match of the day until an agreement has been reached.
“The BBC have had extensive discussions with Gary and his team over the last few days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity a violation of our policies,” the statement read. “The BBC has decided that he will step down from presenting Match of the Day until we have 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 never said that Gary should be in a no-opinion zone or that he cannot have an opinion on issues important to him, but we did say that he should refrain from taking sides on partisan issues or political controversies. “
THE BIG PICTURE: Lineker has thanked people for their support throughout the series and said he expects to present the Match of the Day as usual on Saturday. However, that is no longer the case as the former England international is now set to be replaced. It remains to be seen when or if he will return to his position in the flagship program in the future.
AND WHAT’S MORE: Shortly after the news broke, Rob Harris reported that Lineker was removed from the show after refusing to apologize for his comments. Ian Wright has also confirmed that he will not be appearing in Saturday’s Match of the Day out of “solidarity” with Lineker.
Everyone knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.
— Ian Wright (@IanWright0) March 10, 2023
IN A PHOTO:
WHAT NEXT? Match of the Day returns on Saturday with a new presenter and features highlights from games involving Liverpool, Chelsea, Manchester City and Lineker’s former side Leicester City.