BBC face humiliation as Match of the Day set for 20 minute air time amid Gary Lineker saga | Football | Sport
Match of the Day will be reduced to around 20 minutes on Saturday evening following the ongoing Gary Lineker saga. The BBC have made the decision after a host of presenters, pundits and commentators decided against working this weekend in a show of solidarity to the former England striker.
Lineker was told to step back from his duties on Friday following a tweet he made earlier this week. The 62-year-old compared the government’s asylum policy to 1930s Nazi Germany.
The BBC demanded that Lineker apologise as the remark went against their impartiality guidelines but he has so far refused to do so. Ian Wright was the first pundit to confirm he would not be appearing on Match of the Day if Lineker was not working.
He was swiftly followed by the likes of Alan Shearer, Alex Scott and Jermaine Jenas. On Friday, a joint statement from the BBC commentators said they would not work for Saturday’s matches in support of Lineker.
Football Focus and Final Score have since been removed from the BBC’s schedule after more presenters and pundits pulled out of the coverage. The BBC said on Friday that Match of the Day would be shown without any studio input.
And now The Times claims the programme will only be a fraction over 20 minutes long. The highlights show usually airs for much longer, with last week’s programme on for one hour and 25 minutes.
The BBC has apologised to viewers for the lack of sport programmes across their channels this weekend. The apology reads: “The BBC will only be able to bring limited sport programming this weekend and our schedules will be updated to reflect that.
“We are sorry for these changes which we recognise will be disappointing for BBC sport fans. We are working hard to resolve the situation and hope to do so soon.”