Gary Lineker: Will the BBC sack the Match of the Day presenter?
The BBC have suspended Gary Lineker from Match of the Day, with the situation said to be unfolding at the state broadcaster
Gary Lineker, presenter of the BBC's Match of the Day, has been left on the bench this weekend with his future in doubt.
Lineker this week tweeted his support (opens in new tab) for refugees, labelling a recent government policy as an "Immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s".
The BBC later announced that "until we've got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media," Lineker would be standing aside from presenting duties on the Premier League highlights show.
Will the BBC sack the Match of the Day presenter?
Interestingly, Lineker himself does not think of himself as an employee of the BBC, labelling himself in one interview (opens in new tab) as "freelance". However, the Beeb may still decide to cut ties with the presenter, who is still one of their highest earners, despite working elsewhere, too.
According to Sky News' political editor Beth Rigby (opens in new tab), a senior BBC insider was asked whether the state broadcaster and Lineker could part company. The insider in question seemed optimistic that it would not come to that, replying, "Hopefully it will be resolved."
Despite this, it is still uncertain as to what happens next. With Lineker reportedly refusing to apologise (opens in new tab) for his tweet, it seems as if the BBC will either have to back down in the face of mounting pressure from other pundits and fans – or remove Lineker permanently.
Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have both announced that they will be standing in solidarity with Lineker and refusing to appear on MOTD this weekend.
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Mark White has been a staff writer on FourFourTwo since joining in January 2020, writing pieces for both online and the magazine. An encyclopedia of football shirts and boots knowledge – both past and present – Mark has also been to the FA Cup and League Cup finals for FFT and has written pieces for the mag ranging on subjects from Bobby Robson's season at Barcelona to Robinho's career. He once saw Tyrone Mings at a petrol station in Bournemouth but felt far too short to ask for a photo.