Further presenters and pundits pull out of BBC sport shows following Gary Lineker's suspension

Further presenters and pundits pull out of BBC sport shows following Gary Lineker's suspension
Gary Lineker has been stood down by the BBC, © PA Wire/PA Images

Following Gary Lineker's suspension from the BBC for this evening's Match Of The Day, the broadcaster has seen an exodus of pundits and presenters stand aside in solidarity with the former England International.

It was yesterday announced that Lineker would be stepping back from his match-day role while he and the BBC came to an agreement about his use of social media.

The 62-year-old has found himself embroiled in a row where he likened the language used in a new UK Government asylum policy with 1930s Germany.



The BBC's decision was met with multiple analysts boycotting Match Of The Day this weekend - with Ian Wright and Alan Shearer confirming their stance on Friday.

In response to this, a BBC spokesperson said: "Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary.

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

Further to this, Alex Scott pulled out of presenting Football Focus this morning - only a few hours before it was due to go on air.


Kelly Somers was expected to come into the fray instead of Scott but quickly confirmed that she would not be hosting the programme.

This was followed up by Jason Mohammad's decision that he will not be presenting the BBC's Final Score programme on Saturday.

He tweeted: "As you know, Final Score is a TV show very close to my heart. However – I have this morning informed the BBC that I will not be presenting the show this afternoon on BBC One."

Britain's Labour party has since spoken on the matter and stated that the BBC has got it wrong in suspending Lineker over his tweets.

Stephen Morgan, who is Shadow schools minister, has said that the entire situation is an attack on free speech.

"I love the BBC, and I know that the British public love the BBC, but I think that they need to rethink this decision," he said.

"Gary Lineker is a great British institution in my opinion, but I think they have got this wrong.

"I think they are pandering to the Conservatives here and that is not right."

As reported by RTÉ Sport, the former controller of editorial policy at the BBC is holding the broadcaster's reputation in higher regard than that of any individual.

Richard Ayre told BBC Breakfast on Saturday there will be "real street-to-street fighting" between political parties in the lead-up to the general election.

"The BBC, in this time of all times, has to tread as straight a line as it can between the parties and avoid taking sides in its own output," he said.

"The BBC believes it also has to ensure that those key people who are identified as the BBC in the public mind also walk a straight line in what they say on their private social network,"