Gary Lineker is to “step back” from presenting Match of the Day while the BBC agrees a “clear position” on his use of social media.
It follows a tweet posted by Gary on the government’s latest migration bill.
“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,” said the BBC
“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.”
Gary’s been presenting the BBC’s football highlight show since 1999, taking over from Des Lynam. Lineker had worked as an analyst during his predecessor tenure.
Good heavens, this is beyond awful. https://t.co/f0fTgWXBwp
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) March 7, 2023
Gary has told former BBC Sport presenter Dan Walker that it’s not his decision to step back from presenting Match of the Day, saying “they [the BBC] have told me I have to step back”.
Alan Shearer and Ian Wright supports Gary Lineker
In a tweet, Ian said: “Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”
Everybody 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
Alan added: “I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.”
I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.
— Alan Shearer (@alanshearer) March 10, 2023
— Micah Richards (@MicahRichards) March 10, 2023
No Football Focus or Final Score
I made a decision last night that even though I love doing football focus and we have had an incredible week winning an SJA award that it just doesn’t feel right going ahead with the show today. Hopefully I will be back in the chair next week…
— Alex Scott MBE (@AlexScott) March 11, 2023