Former England international Gary Lineker will not host Saturday’s program of the Match of the Day following his political spat on Twitter
The BBC has announced that Gary Lineker is axed from the popular British football show, Match Of The Day, due to his involvement in a political row. The former Tottenham striker, aged 62, will not host the show until he reaches an understanding with the organization over his social media usage.
Match of the Day in meltdown after Lineker dismissal
Lineker came under fire after he criticized the UK government’s new asylum policy on Tuesday, comparing the language used by current politicians to the voices expressed in Nazi Germany.
In a statement, the BBC said: “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.”
Lineker used Twitter to condemn the government policy, posting: “There is no huge influx. 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?”
Shortly after BBC’s announcement on Gary Lineker, former Arsenal striker Ian Wright also confirmed that he won’t be a part of the show on Saturday.
“Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow [Saturday]. Solidarity,” Wright posted on Twitter.
Alan Shearer, another former England striker and a staple figure of the show, followed suit by writing: “I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.”