Gary Lineker makes statement with BBC presenter not on Match of the Day duties again | Football | Sport
Home » Matches » Gary Lineker makes statement with BBC presenter not on Match of the Day duties again | Football | Sport
Gary Lineker makes statement with BBC presenter not on Match of the Day duties again | Football | Sport

Gary Lineker will not host Match of the Day on Saturday but the legendary presenter has confirmed he has not been suspended by the BBC. The former England striker is yet to appear on the Premier League highlights show since being taken off air in March over criticism of the government’s language over refugees.

The BBC prompted a major backlash from their sports broadcasting staff after stepping Lineker down from Match of the Day duties on March 11. The 62-year-old was punished for likening language used by government ministers to that of Nazi Germany.

After several of Lineker’s BBC Sport colleagues boycotted, the corporation came to an agreement with their highest-paid presenter and he returned to screens a week later. However, he is yet to appear back on Match of the Day - with Mark Chapman hosting the show the weekend prior to the international break as Lineker was booked in for the broadcaster’s FA Cup coverage.

And now, Lineker has confirmed that he will miss Saturday’s show due to being on holiday. He joked on Twitter: “Just so there’s no misunderstanding, I won’t be doing @BBCMOTD tonight. I’m not suspended, just on holiday. Back next week.”

The BBC was forced into an embarrassing U-turn over Lineker’s tweet, which was initially felt to have breached strict guidelines on impartiality. Director-general Tim Davie apologised after the broadcaster was forced to take the majority of its sports coverage off air in the days that followed Lineker’s suspension.

“Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this,” Davie wrote in a lengthy statement.

“The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.”

He added: “Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend."

Lineker said at the time: "After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.

"I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost three decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday. A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away.

"It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you. We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you."

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *