‘Match of the Day’ To Air Without Presenters or Pundits – Deadline

‘Match of the Day’ To Air Without Presenters or Pundits – Deadline

The BBCThe famous Premier League highlights show Match of the Day will be aired without a studio presenter or the regular line-up of pundits after the lead presenter Gary Lineker was asked to withdraw from coverage after violating the broadcaster’s impartiality rules on Twitter.

The BBC announced the decision to withdraw Lineker from the popular highlights show on Friday afternoon after “extensive discussions” with Lineker, during which the sports presenter was told that his tweet comparing UK government policy in Nazi Germany was unacceptable.

In response, a series of regular contributors to the show, including former soccer players Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, and Alex Scott, announced they would not be appearing on the show this weekend. In what was effectively a presenters’ strike, the BBC released a statement saying this week’s episode of Match of the Day will air without its regular studio segment. The episode will only feature match footage from Premier League games.

“Some of our experts have said they do not want to appear on the program while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary,” the BBC statement said. “We understand their position and have decided that the program will focus on the action of the match without studio presentation or punditry.”

In the now-controversial Tweet, Lineker criticized what he described as a “beyond appalling” policy by the British government to prevent small boats carrying asylum seekers from arriving on the shores of British.

Lineker added: “We take in fewer refugees than other major European countries. It’s just a very harsh policy directed at the most linguistically weak people not unlike what Germany used in the 30s.”

On Friday, the BBC said Lineker had been benched while it considered how the presenter could express his views on social media in a manner consistent with the corporation’s duty to impartiality. The news comes despite Lineker telling his 8.7M Twitter followers on Thursday that he will host Match of the Day as usual on Saturday. Lineker has repeatedly defended his original tweets.

Deadline reported earlier this week that BBC insiders were furious with Lineker for his “appalling” breach of impartiality rules. Some are calling for him to be suspended.

Lineker’s suspension also prompted criticism of the BBC from across the political spectrum. On Friday, the opposition Labor party said the BBC’s decision was “cowardly” and an “attack on free speech in the face of political pressure.”

Broadcaster Piers Morgan said in a Tweet that Lineker’s suspension was “pathetically spineless.”

“WTF? How pathetically spineless.. I now demand that the BBC suspend every presenter who makes public comments about the news or current affairs – starting with Sir David Attenborough and Lord Sugar,” Morgan’s Tweet read.

Late on Friday night, broadcasting union BECTU described Lineker’s suspension as “deeply concerning”.

A statement from BECTU chief Philippa Childs read: “This is a deeply concerning decision from the BBC. It will show that they have bowed to political pressure from ministers to take someone off the air because in disagreement with the policies of the current government.

“Given the ongoing controversy over the appointment of the BBC Chairman, who has a more important role in upholding the BBC’s reputation, and not stepping down while under scrutiny, it also risks giving the impression of a double standard on these issues. .”