Now Match of the Day commentators are pulling out of the show as Gary Lineker charges on as fans say ‘no point in watching now’.
MATCH of the Day commentators have withdrawn from tonight’s show – hours after the BBC said the show would go ahead without presenters or experts.
Commentators are expected to be sent in from one agency to cover Saturday’s Prem games amid the chaos sparked by Gary Lineker’s Match of the Day suspension.
In a tweet, Steve Wilson, one of the commentators on the flagship footie show, said he and his colleagues will not be heard on Saturday’s episode.
He explained on Friday: “As commentators from MOTD, we have decided to withdraw from tomorrow night’s broadcast.
“We are reassured that football fans who wish to see their teams can continue to do so as management can use World Feed commentary if they wish.”
The move means the soft tones of commentators Conor McNamara, Simon Brotherton and Robyn Cowen will be muted on Saturday night.
They are likely to be covered by commentary normally provided for football broadcasts outside of the UK.
Fans have previously put the boot in the BBC – with some claiming they would boycott the Match of the Day after Mr Lineker was taken off the air.
Fans stormed in with comments like, “Oh no, cancel all EPL games tomorrow, no one will be hosting MOTD.”
Another said: “Lineker gets a yellow card, sending Wright and Shearer off.”
A third vowed: “I won’t be watching MOTD until he’s reinstated. Power to Lineker…”
One wrote: “Not a huge fan of Lineker but he’s Match of the Day no point in watching it now.”
It comes just hours after the BBC said the exodus of pundits acting in solidarity with Mr Lineker means Saturday night’s episode will only show football.
And there will be no studio analysis for viewers.
A BBC spokesman said: “Some of our experts have said they do not wish to appear on the show while we try to resolve the situation with Gary.
“We understand their position and have decided that the program will focus on match action with no studio presentation or expert knowledge.”
Mr Lineker sparked a row over freedom of expression when he compared the government’s plans to stop migrants arriving on small boats from settling in Britain to “1930s Germany”.
The BBC said Mr Lineker’s criticism of the Government’s Illegal Migration Act on Twitter was a “breach of our policies”.
The pundit was then forced to back down from his presenting duties on the flagship football show – which he has been presenting since 1999 – pending a “clear position” on his use of social media.
However, his suspension wreaked havoc when numerous Match of the Day co-hosts refused to appear in solidarity with the veteran host.
Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Jermaine Jenas, Alex Scott, Mark Chapman and Micah Richards all refused to step in amid the chaos.
The row was sparked when Mr Lineker reacted to a Twitter video of Home Secretary Suella Braverman presenting the government’s small boat plan.
The legislation provides that migrants are quickly arrested and deported within 28 days either to their country of origin or to a safe third country.
Sharing the clip, Mr Lineker said: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful.”
Responding to another user who described him as “out of order,” he added: “We take in far fewer refugees than other major European countries.
“This is just immeasurably cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable, in language not dissimilar to the language used in Germany in the ’30s, and I’m out of order?”
In an earlier statement, the BBC explained that they had “detailed discussions” with the 62-year-old ex-England star following the uproar.
While the Beeb praised his sports coverage as “unmatched”, they said he should “stay away from taking sides on partisan issues”.
The full statement read: “The BBC have had extensive discussions with Gary and his team over the past few days.
“We have said we view his recent social media activity as a violation of our policies.
“The BBC has decided that he will step down from presenting the Match of the Day until we have 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 never said that Gary should be in a free-of-opinion zone or that he cannot have an opinion on issues that are important to him, but we did say that he should steer clear of taking sides on partisan issues or political controversies. “
Wight was the first to boycott the show, tweeting: “Everyone knows what Match of the Day means to me but I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”
And Shearer followed suit shortly after, tweeting: “I have informed the BBC that I will not be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night.”
Scott later declared himself out of the race with a cryptic tweet from US politician Bernie Sanders, saying, “Nah… not for me.”
And pundit Richards supported the boycotters – and said he would do the same if asked to host.
Mark Chapman – who is presenting Match of the Day 2 on Sunday – also said he would not step in.
Sun columnist Piers Morgan reacted furiously at the “ridiculous” decision to suspend his pal Gary Lineker – and accused the BBC of being “pathetically spineless”.
The TalkTV presenter fumed: “This is a ridiculous decision and if the BBC really thinks their presenters shouldn’t have political opinions then I look forward to them suspending David Attenborough…
“And Alan Sugar and everyone else who has presented BBC shows but are making their opinions public.”
Sir David Attenborough has criticized the government’s environmental record, while Lord Sugar has urged Britain to support the Tories in 2019.
In a separate tweet, Piers added: “RECALL: BBC management urged @GaryLineker to make political statements on Qatar’s human rights record at the start of the recent World Cup.”
Meanwhile, Alastair Campbell – who hosts a podcast from Lineker’s media company Goalhanger Podcasts – told Sky News he feared “we last saw him at the match of the day”.
https://www.thesun.ie/sport/football/10364099/match-of-the-day-gary-lineker-latest/ Now Match of the Day commentators are pulling out of the show as Gary Lineker charges on as fans say ‘no point in watching now’.