(CNN) – The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced that Gary Lineker will stop presenting the famous Match of the Day program, after the controversy sparked by a tweet he wrote earlier in the week.
On Tuesday, Lineker responded to a video posted to Twitter by Britain’s Home Office announcing the government’s policy on asylum seekers.
Then he wrote: “Not a huge influx. We take in far fewer refugees than other large European countries. This is just an immeasurably harsh policy aimed at the most vulnerable people with language not unlike that used by Germany in the 1930s, ¿and I’m out of place.” ?
A BBC spokesperson said in a statement on Friday that Lineker’s decision to back down came after “extensive discussions” with the former footballer and his team.
“We said we consider your recent social media activity to be against our guidelines,” the spokesperson wrote. “The BBC has decided that Lineker will stop presenting ‘Match of the Day’ until we have agreed a clear position on his use of social media.”
“When it comes to managing our coverage of football and sports, Gary is second to none. We’ve never said that Gary should be a no-brainer, or that he can’t have a point on the issues that matter to him, but we said he should still Far from taking sides in partisan political issues or political differences,” the BBC justified.
The decision sparked many reactions on the Internet. TV presenter and former footballer Ian Wright has announced that he will not be appearing on Saturday’s ‘Match of the Day’ in response to the network’s decision.
“Everyone knows what today’s game means to me, but I told the BBC I wouldn’t do it tomorrow. Solidarity,” Wright wrote on Twitter.
For his part, former BBC Breakfast & Football presenter Dan Walker tweeted: “He used to fill in for Gary Lineker at the Department for Transport… Not sure I’m ready for that this weekend. What a mess.”
CNN has contacted Lineker’s staff to get a response to the decision.
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