The BBC has announced today’s match will go ahead as planned on Saturday night but without a studio review after host Gary Lineker was forced to temporarily step back from his role.
Lineker recently criticized the government’s use of language when describing the new asylum policy, comparing it to “the one used by Germany in the 1930s”.
Although the situation appeared to have been resolved earlier this week, the BBC announced on Friday afternoon that Lineker would “step down” from his duties as they seek a solution to his use of social media.
However, Sky News then reported that Lineker did not agree to this and was instead forcibly removed from his role.
In response, pundits Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Alex Scott, Micah Richards and Jermaine Jenas announced that they would stand in solidarity with Lineker and not take part in Saturday’s broadcast. The would-be host, Mark Chapman, also backed out of the potential appearance.
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In a new statement on Friday evening, the BBC announced plans to show today’s match but without experts in the studio.
A BBC spokesperson said: “Some of our critics have said they do not want to appear on the show while we work to resolve the situation with Gary.
“We understand their position and have decided that the program will focus on match action without introducing the studio or the newscast.”