Alan Shearer And Ian Wright They announced they were boycotting the Match of the Day this weekend due to the BBC’s decision to stand up Gary Lineker down the show.

The company said on Friday that Lineker “decided” to take a break from offering the highlights program until a “compromised and clear position” is reached on social media use.

Lineker, 62, became embroiled in the neutrality debate after he compared the language used to launch a new Government asylum policy to 1930s Germany on Twitter.

announcement by BBC The scholar and former Arsenal striker caused Wright to tweet that he would not appear in “solidarity” on Saturday.

“Everyone knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I told the BBC I’m not going to do it tomorrow. Solidarity,” he said.

Former English striker and scholar Shearer tweeted shortly afterwards: “I have informed the BBC that I will not be appearing at MOTD tomorrow night.”

BBC presenter Jermaine Jenas, another Match of the Day expert, later tweeted: “I was on the air with One Show. I wasn’t in a position to play the game of the day tomorrow, but if I were, I would say no and stand with the other experts and @GaryLineker.

Micah Richards previously said on Twitter: “I wasn’t supposed to be working on MOTD tomorrow, but if I did, I would find myself making the same decision as @IanWright0 and @alanshearer.”

Former Arsenal and England player Alex Scott, another BBC commentator, also said on Saturday that US politician Bernie Sanders’ “No! Not me” with the caption: “FYI…”.

Commenting on Shearer’s tweet, George LinekerGary’s son said “what a man” and then added “RIP MOTD tomorrow” in a separate Tweet.

Announcing the decision on Lineker on Friday, a spokesperson for the BBC said that the broadcaster “has had extensive discussions with Gary and his team over the last few days”. We said we consider 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.”

It’s not yet clear who will replace him in Saturday’s edition of Match of the Day.

According to Channel 5’s report, host Dan Walker asked Gary Lineker, “What’s going on. Are you taking a step back?”

Lineker replied: “No, they told me I should back off.”

The controversy was fueled by Lineker’s response on Twitter to a Home Office video by Interior Minister Suella Braverman, in which the government announced plans to stop migrants from crossing the English Channel in small boats.

The former English striker wrote: “There is no big influx. We receive far fewer refugees than other major European countries.

“This is an immeasurably cruel policy towards the most vulnerable, in language no different from the one Germany used in the ’30s.”

This is the latest controversy to hit the company after its chairman, Richard Sharp, was involved in a nepotism controversy over helping Boris Johnson secure a £800,000 loan facility.

BBC director-general Tim Davie warned staff about their use of social media when he took the post at the end of 2020, and the guidelines for social media use have since been updated.

Staff were told to follow editorial guidelines and editorial oversight, just as when producing BBC content.

Lineker is a freelance broadcaster for the BBC, not a staff member and is not responsible for news or political content, so it does not have to follow the same rules of neutrality.