Match of the Day boycotted by pundits, commentators, managers and players after Gary Lineker forced to step back – THE INFORMANTI

Saturday’s Match of the Day show will go ahead without a presenter, pundits, commentators or interviews after the BBC ordered Gary Lineker to ‘step back’ from his role.

The BBC took exception to Lineker criticising the UK government over their new asylum policy, after he likened the language of the bill to that of 1930s Germany.


Match of the Day on Saturday will be without a studio presenter or pundits

After holding talks with Lineker, the BBC announced on Friday that he would ’step back’ from presenting duties amid the impartiality row – prompting a furious backlash.

In response, Ian Wright and Alan Shearer – booked to be MOTD pundits on Saturday – took to social media to insist they won’t be in the studio this weekend as a sign of solidarity.

BBC presenter Alex Scott then ruled herself out of replacing Lineker, while pundits Jermaine Jenas and Micah Richards, who often appear on Match of the Day 2, stated they also wouldn’t be prepared to step in.

And the BBC have since announced that Saturday night’s programme will show just the highlight’s of the day’s top-flight action.

There will be no analysis of the games, with Manchester City, Liverpool, Tottenham and Chelsea all in action.

A statement from a BBC spokesperson read: “Some of our pundits have said they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary.


The BBC announced earlier on Friday that Lineker will be taking a ‘step back’ from presenting

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“We understand their position and we have decided that the programme will focus on match action without studio presentation on punditry.”

In another blow for the BBC, Match of the Day commentator Steve Wilson announced he and his colleagues wouldn’t be lending their voice to games.

He tweeted: “As commentators on MOTD, we have decided to step down from tomorrow night’s broadcast.

“We are comforted that football fans who want to watch their teams should still be able to do so, as management can use World Feed commentary if they wish.”


There will be no one in the Match of the Day studio this weekend

Meanwhile, managers and players involved in the Premier League on Saturday will also boycott the programme.

The 12 clubs involved in Saturday’s fixtures will not receive interview requests from the BBC after a mutual agreement.

In a statement, the PFA said members wanted to show their support to Lineker.

“During those conversations we made clear that, as their union, we would support all members who might face consequences for choosing not to complete their broadcast commitments,” the statement said.

“This is a common sense decision that ensures players won’t now be put in that position.”

Six games are being played on Saturday, with Premier League champions Manchester City away at Crystal Palace.


Lineker has presented Match of the Day since 1999

Bournemouth host Liverpool, while Chelsea pit their wits against Leicester at the King Power Stadium.

Struggling Spurs welcome Nottingham Forest to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, with Leeds and Brighton to battle at Elland Road.

And relegation-threatened Everton face Brentford at Goodison Park in what promises to be a hectic day of action.

There has been no update on whether anyone will be in the studio for MOTD 2 on Sunday.

talkSPORT’s Darren Bent has slammed the BBC over their decision on Lineker, as he insisted the 62-year-old has been the victim of ‘cancel culture’.

Meanwhile talkSPORT host and ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan has told Lineker he shouldn’t have to apologise to the BBC over his views.

For actual commentary and punditry, listen to talkSPORT today as we bring you two live Premier League games as well as expert analysis and opinion with no censorship


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