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Gary Lineker to step back from presenting Match Of The Day

Gary Lineker to step back from presenting Match Of The Day

Gary Lineker is standing down from Match of The Day

Gary Lineker is stepping back from presenting Match of The Day.

In a statement, the BBC said that the former England player would take a break from the weekly football show.

A spokesperson said that he would no longer present it until there is 'an agreed and clear position on his use of social media'.

It read: "The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.

“The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.

“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none. We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”

Gary Lineker is taking a step back from Match of The Day.

This comes after Lineker found himself in a political storm after he criticised the UK government over its handling of the migrant crisis.

Taking to Twitter, the 62-year-old hit out at Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other officials for the language they used in a Home Office post about getting control of the number of small boats crossing the Channel in recent months.

This is in relation to the Illegal Migration Bill, which is set to be debated in Parliament on Monday (13 March).

Blasting the legislation, Lineker said it was similar to language used in Nazi Germany.

"There is no huge influx. We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries," he said.

"This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the ’30s."

Following his statement, some came out and called for Lineker to be sacked by the BBC, which has a strict policy of neutrality.

Responding to his comments, Sunak defended the bill, saying he believed it was the right thing to do to get a hold of the situation.

“I hope everyone over time realises that this is the right approach because we’ve looked at lots of different things, tried lots of other ways, as I’ve said, and nothing else has worked," said the PM.

“And having looked at this long and hard myself I’m confident this is the best and right approach to solve this problem, which I think everyone acknowledges is a challenge and it’s one of my five priorities because I think it’s undoubtedly something that the country thinks is important and needs resolving.

“The question is how do you resolve it in a way that’s fair, compassionate and can resolve it and that’s what I think our approach does.”

However, despite the backlash he received, Lineker was defiant and said that he would do the same again.

And in a tweet, he thanked people for their support and said that he would be back this week to present the hit sports show.

The ex-Barcelona striker said: “Happy that this ridiculously out of proportion story seems to be abating and very much looking forward to presenting [Match of the Day] on Saturday. Thanks again for all your incredible support. It’s been overwhelming."

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: UK News, Sport, Football, Gary Lineker