Where it was announced on Thursday that the BBC was not going to tap Gary Lineker on his fingers after his fierce criticism of the British government’s asylum policy, it came out on Friday that the presenter will not be seen at Match of the Day for the time being. With this, the British broadcaster seems to be cutting itself in the fingers. Lineker compared plans to exclude illegal migrants to Nazi Germany’s policies on Twitter and then came under fire himself. Now the former striker will no longer be seen until an agreement is reached on how he uses his social media.
BBC Guidelines for Gary Lineker
According to the BBC, Lineker’s comments are against the broadcaster’s guidelines. “We never said he shouldn’t have an opinion, but he should stay away from taking positions in political controversies.” Remarkably, Lineker himself said via Twitter on Thursday that he was happy that everything had been resolved and that he felt like presenting Match of the Day, the program with the Premier League summaries, again on Saturday. Lineker has been capturing the highlights of English football on Saturday nights since 1999.
No presenter and analysts
Ian Wright soon announced that he will not appear on TV either. “Everyone knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I have informed the BBC that I will not be coming tomorrow,” said the former striker and analyst. “Solidarity.” Fellow analyst Alan Shearer followed suit: “I have informed the BBC that I will not be showing up tomorrow.” Micah Richards, Jermaine Jenas and Alex Scott, among others, also said that the broadcaster does not have to call them.
The BBC then announced that Match of the Day will be broadcast on Saturday without a presenter and without analysts. “The focus will be on the match images,” said the broadcaster, which will not accept any interview requests. On Saturday morning it was announced that Alex Scott will not be presenting Football Focus earlier on Saturday. Football Focus airs at lunchtime during the season. Former football star Scott is the regular presenter. “I decided last night that while I love my show and we’ve had an incredible week winning an award, it doesn’t feel right for me to continue with the show today. Hopefully I can get back on the chair next week,” 38-year-old Scott wrote.
Interior Minister Suella Braverman announced on Tuesday that the government wants illegal migrants to no longer be eligible for asylum. The intention is that these people are detained and then quickly deported to their country of origin or a third country such as Rwanda. Lineker called that “appalling” on social media and an “immeasurably cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable people”. According to him, it is not much different from that of Germany in the 1930s.