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March 21, 2023
Soccer Pundit Gary Lineker has been temporarily relieved of his duties as Match of the Day presenter for the British Broadcasting Company (BBC).
Lineker hit out at the UK government for their attempts to stop small boats of migrants from making the dangerous crossing from France to England.
Lineker blasted the policy by saying it was “immeasurably cruel”.
Lineker went on to say that the UK government’s language about migrants was “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s.”
The BBC released a statement regarding their decision: “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.”
Several other pundits said they will not present Match of the Day due to the BBC’s handling of Lineker.
Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright said he would not present and would stand in “solidarity” with Lineker.
Former Newcastle United striker Alan Shearer followed suit not long after.
“I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night,” Shearer tweeted.
Other regular hosts Jermaine Jenas and Micah Richards also confirmed they will not present.
Match of the Day will run, however there will not be any pundits or commentators, only soccer highlights.
Greg Dyke, who is the former Director General of the BBC, said suspending Lineker was a bad move.
Dyke said the BBC “undermined its own credibility.”
“There is a long-established precedent in the BBC that if you are an entertainment presenter or a sports presenter then you are not bound by those same rules,” Dyke said.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: IRISH NEWS