Match of the Day will air without hosts or analysts after Gary Lineker was urged to back down

As a result of a disagreement with the BBC over impartiality, Gary Lineker was asked to leave Match of the Day, which would now air later without a studio host, commentators, or its regular pundits.

Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Micah Richards, and Jermaine Jenas, all pundits, have stated they will not be participating in the program.

Alex Scott made a similar suggestion, and Steve Wilson said that the MOTD commentating squad as a whole will follow suit.

It comes after Lineker criticized the administration’s asylum policy.

Instead, “match action will be the emphasis of the show” on Saturday night, according to the BBC.

Lineker: A standoff with no obvious way out
Footballer who became a regular on Saturday TV
An official statement was made on Friday night “As we work to find a solution with Gary, several of our pundits have stated that they do not want to appear on the show.

We have agreed that the program will concentrate on match action without studio presentation or punditry because we understand their viewpoint.

On Twitter, Wilson stated: “We have made the decision to stop commentating on MOTD for tomorrow night’s program.

We are relieved that football supporters who want to watch their teams can still do so, he continued, citing the availability of substitute commentary sources.

See the Gary Lineker Twitter row in under 90 seconds in the video below.

According to BBC Sport, a number of players from different teams contacted the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) on Friday night to express their potential desire to boycott the Match of the Day post-match interviews in support of Lineker and the panelists.

The PFA, which has discussed this with players and clubs, is rumored to be in support of any players who make this decision.

The BBC stated in a different, earlier statement on Friday that it believed Lineker’s recent social media behavior to be against its policies. “We’ve decided that he will step back from hosting Match of the Day until we’ve had an agreed-upon and unambiguous position on his use of social media,” it read.

The first person to openly announce that he wouldn’t be on the show on Saturday was Ian Wright, who tweeted: “Everyone is aware of my attachment to Match of the Day, but I’ve informed the BBC that I won’t be hosting tomorrow. Solidarity.”

Image depicts Ian Wright and Alan Shearer
Image caption: According to both Alan Shearer and Ian Wright, they will not be participating in Match of the Day on Saturday.
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, who also presents on the show, subsequently stated he had “advised the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night”.

Alex Scott, a former Lionesses and Arsenal player, tweeted a GIF of US senator Bernie Sanders saying shortly after that, indicating that she too would not be there “No! “Not me,” followed by “FYI “.

Former Manchester City defender Richards followed her and tweeted: “I was not scheduled to work on MOTD tomorrow, but if I had, I would have made the same choice as [Ian Wright] & [Alan Shearer] have.”

Then, former Tottenham player Jenas tweeted: “been broadcasting one show. I wasn’t interested in hosting Match of the Day tomorrow, but if I had been, I would have declined and stood with [Gary Lineker] and the other analysts.”

Although Lineker has not yet made a statement, former BBC presenter Dan Walker read a text message from the 62-year-old live on air while he was on 5News earlier.

Walker reported sending Lineker a message inquiring: “what is taking place. Are you moving backwards?”

No, they’ve [the BBC] informed me I had to stand aside, the reply he claimed to have received said.

According to information provided to the BBC, the decision was not communicated to the Match of the Day production team in advance.

In an effort to address a surge in the number of people traveling across the Channel in tiny boats, Home Secretary Suella Braverman laid out the government’s intentions on Tuesday to outlaw the filing of any asylum claims by anyone who enter the UK illegally.

Lineker replied to it on Twitter calling it a “immeasurably brutal policy directed at the most vulnerable individuals in terminology that is not different to that employed by Germany in the 30s”.

Lineker, who has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 and made roughly £1.35 million in 2020–21, is the BBC’s highest-paid celebrity. He works for the BBC on a contract basis.

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