Football fans will have a very different bbc.co.uk/programmes/b007t9y1">Match of the Day to look forward to on Saturday night (March 11) after the BBC made the decision for long-time host Gary Lineker to temporarily step down. The decision comes in the wake of a controversial tweet from the former Spurs and Barcelona player.
Lineker took to Twitter to hit out at the government’s recently announced Illegal Migration Bill which bans migrants who arrive on small boats to settle in Britain. He tweeted: “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?”
The BBC announced on Friday (March 10) the 62-year-old would not be presenting the programme which has been met with uproar from viewers and show pundits. Newcastle United legend Alan Shearer, former Crystal Palace player Ian Wright and ex-Arsenal star Alex Scott, who star alongside Gary Lineker, confirmed they will not appear on Saturday’s show.
And it doesn’t end there, as bosses at the BBC have been dealt a fresh headache after Match of the Day commentators later confirmed they will also boycott Saturday’s episode. Steve Wilson posted: “As commentators on MOTD, we have decided to step down from (Saturday’s) broadcast.
“We are comforted that football fans who want to watch their teams should still be able to do so, as management can use World Feed commentary if they wish. However, in the circumstances, we do not feel it would be appropriate to take part in the programme.”
Premier League footballers will also be supported by the Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) if they do not wish to fulfil their media interview obligations with the BBC.
An online petition calling for Lineker to be reinstated has reached over 100,000 signatures. There have also been an increased number of calls for viewers to cancel their TV licence.
Who is hosting BBC’s Match of the Day instead of Gary Lineker on Saturday?
It has been confirmed the next episode of Match of the Day will be without studio presentation or punditry to allow viewers to “focus on the action”. Therefore, there are no replacements lined up for Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer, Ian Wright and Alex Scott by the BBC.
A BBC spokesperson explained in a statement: “Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary. We understand their position and we have decided that the programme will focus on match action without studio presentation or punditry.”
How to watch Match of the Day on the BBC
A Gary Lineker-less Match of the Day is scheduled to air on Saturday, March 11 at 10.30pm to show highlights of the day’s Premier League action, such as Bournemouth vs Liverpool. It is broadcast on BBC One and if you wish to watch it on demand, Match of the Day will also be available on BBC iPlayer.