Alan Shearer joined Ian Wright boycotting the Match of the Day for “solidarity” with Gary Linekerwith Mika Richards, Jermaine Jenas And Alex Scott they also exclude themselves from appearing on the show.
The BBC later confirmed There will be no presenters or experts in the Match of the Day this weekend. A BBC spokesperson said: “Some of our experts said they didn’t want to be on the show as Gary and I tried to resolve the situation.
“We understand their position and have decided that the program will focus on match action without studio presentation or experts.”
The BBC previously told Lineker was told to “withdraw” from presentation duties for using social media. Wright and Shearer were due to appear with Lineker on the highlights show, but both withdrew after the BBC’s announcement.
“I’ve informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night,” Shearer said. wright He tweeted before: “Everyone knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I told the BBC I’m not going to do it tomorrow. Solidarity.”
Lineker entered the debate over neutrality after criticizing the government’s asylum policy regarding small boats. The former English striker compared the language the government used when initiating policy to 1930s Germany.
Former British internationals Wright and Shearer, along with Lineker, are the two biggest regulars in Game of the Day, and it is not yet clear who will replace them.
Sky News reported that Lineker was taken off the air rather than being asked to withdraw, with other experts now reluctant to appear on the highlights program following the BBC’s decision.
Scott, who was scheduled to host Saturday lunchtime show Football Focus, tweeted a GIF that read, “No, not me.” “I wasn’t supposed to be working on MOTD tomorrow, but if I had, I would have found myself making the same decision as Ian Wright and Alan Shearer,” Richards said.
Jenas later added: “I wasn’t in a position to play the Match of the Day tomorrow, but if I were I would have said no and stood by my fellow experts”.
Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville, who worked with Wright at ITV, tweeted his support for the decision to boycott the show. Neville said, “I had no doubt that Ian Wright would do it! Now who will go on!”
Steve Wilson, chief commentator on Match of the Day, said: “It’s sad that this has become the story rather than the tragedy of mankind struggling to find shelter. By accepting refugees himself, Gary has certainly earned the right to express his opinion.”
Former Match of the Day host Dan Walker, who will replace Lineker before leaving the BBC for Channel Five, tweeted: “It will be very interesting to see how the editors, directors and producers react to the decision.”
A BBC spokesperson said: “The BBC has been having extensive conversations with Gary and his team in recent days. We said we consider the recent social media activity a violation of our guidelines.
“The BBC has decided to back off from presenting Game of the Day until agreement on his use of social media is agreed and he takes a clear position.
“When it comes to managing our football and sports broadcasts, Gary is unbeatable.
“We’ve never said that Gary should be an opinion-free zone or that he can’t have an opinion on matters that matter to him, but we said he should stay fairly far away from taking sides on party political issues or political debates.”