Four analysts indicated it would not be “proper” to work on the program in statements shared on social media.
Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have already canceled Saturday’s performance.
During discussions, Lineker was requested by the BBC to stop hosting due to his criticism of the government’s asylum policy.
The corporation stated it deemed his “recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines”, adding it had been “determined that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve had an agreed and clear position on his usage of social media”.
In a joint statement posted online, MOTD commentators Steve Wilson, Conor McNamara, Robyn Cowen, and Steven Wyeth stated that they “do not feel it would be suitable to take part in the broadcast” on Saturday.
“We are relieved that football fans who want to watch their teams should still be able to do,” they added, adding that the show might employ alternative sources of game commentary.
The BBC stated that the MOTD show on Saturday night would “concentrate on match action” rather than the English Premier League football highlights.
Lineker: A standoff with no obvious way out
Footballer who became a regular on Saturday TV
Reactions to Lineker’s decision from the football world and beyond
Afterwards, a representative issued the following statement: “As we work to find a solution with Gary, several of our commentators 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.
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 reached out to the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) to express their potential desire to boycott the show’s post-game interviews in support of Lineker and the MOTD experts.
The PFA, which has discussed this with players and clubs, is rumored to be in support of any players who make this decision.
The first commentator to openly announce that he would not be participating in 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.”
Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer, who also participates on the show, subsequently claimed he had “told 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 “”FYI,” the caption reads.
Although Lineker has not yet made a statement regarding the most recent events, former BBC presenter Dan Walker read a text message from the 62-year-old live on air while he was hosting 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 BBC News, the Match of the Day production crew was not informed of their choice in advance.
BBC Director General questioned about Lineker controversy
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.
Exactly how does the UK prevent Channel crossings?
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.
The BBC confirmed in a statement that he will not be hosting MOTD: “Gary is unmatched when it comes to directing our coverage of football and other sports.
“We have never said Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a perspective on subjects that concern to him, but we have said that he should steer well away from taking sides on party political issues, or in political controversies,” the statement continued.
Former director general Greg Dyke said the BBC’s decision to suspend the presenter “undermined its own credibility” and gave the impression that it had “bowed to government pressure” in an interview with the Today Programme.
According to Dyke, the ongoing scandal involving BBC Chairman Richard Sharpe and claims that he assisted in arranging a loan for former Prime Minister Boris Johnson has contributed to the idea that the organization is unable to resist pressure from the government.
Profile of Gary Lineker
The BBC had “no choice,” according to Richard Ayre, a former controller of editorial policy, to take action against Lineker.
“It’s inevitable now that having in effect not sacked him but removed him temporarily at least,” he said, adding that BBC Director General Tim Davie had “clearly tried” to come to an agreement with Lineker. He continued, “The BBC will now come under a torrent of criticism saying it’s acting under the government’s behest.”
It was “shocking,” according to Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy, to watch “a great public broadcaster submitting to right wing crazies,” as he commented on social media.
“Our democracy is made of tougher stuff than this,” he wrote, adding the BBC should “get a grip” and put Gary Lineker back on Match of the Day “where he belongs”.