The BBC have announced that Match of the Day will go ahead as planned on Saturday evening but without studio punditry after host Gary Lineker was forced to temporarily step back from his role.
Lineker recently criticised the government’s use of language when describing their new asylum policy, comparing it to “that used by Germany in the 30s”.
Though the situation appeared to be resolved earlier this week, the BBC announced on Friday afternoon that Lineker would be ‘stepping away’ from his duties while they sought a resolution to his use of social media.
However, Sky News then reported that Lineker did not consent to this and he had instead been forcibly removed from his role.
In response, pundits Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott, Micah Richards and Jermaine Jenas all announced they would stand in solidarity with Lineker and not partake in Saturday’s broadcast. Potential stand-in host Mark Chapman also backed away from a potential appearance.
In a new statement on Friday night, the BBC announced plans to show Match of the Day but without studio punditry.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme whilw 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.”