(CNN) Gary Lineker will step back from presenting Match of the Day, the famous British soccer In the wake of controversy over a tweet he wrote earlier in the week, the BBC announced on Friday.
On Tuesday, Lineker tweeted a video posted to Twitter by the UK Home Office announcing the government’s announcement Asylum seeker policy.
He then went on to write: “There is no massive refugee influx. We are taking in far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably harsh policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language not unlike that used by Germany in 30 seconds, Am I off duty?”
A statement from the BBC said Lineker’s decision to back down came after “extensive discussions” with the former England international and his team.
“We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a violation of our guidelines,” the statement said.
“The BBC has decided that he will withdraw from presenting Match of the Day until we have an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.
“When it comes to leading 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 have said he should walk away.” Too much about taking sides on partisan political issues or political differences.”
Lineker’s team declined to comment on the BBC’s statement when contacted by CNN.
There are no announcers or experts on Match of the Day
No broadcasters or pundits will appear on Match of the Day on Saturday, following a series of statements in support of Lineker.
Former footballers Alan Shearer and Ian Wright announced on Twitter that they had told the BBC that they would not be appearing on the show.
“I have notified the BBC that I will not be appearing on @MOTD tomorrow night,” Shearer wrote on Twitter.
“Everyone knows what today’s game means to me, but I told the BBC I won’t do it tomorrow. Solidarity,” Wright wrote on Twitter.
“Some of our critics have said they do not wish to appear on the show while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary. We understand their position and have decided that the show should focus on making matches without studio presentation or discussion,” a BBC spokesperson said on Friday night.
As Dan Walker, presenter of BBC Breakfast and former Football Focus tweeted: “I was sitting with Gary Lineker on MOTD… Not sure I’d imagine that this weekend. What a mess!”
Meanwhile, the BECTU union, which represents BBC staff, expressed concern on Friday about the BBC’s decision.
Philippa Childs, chair of BECTU, said: “This is a deeply troubling decision by the BBC. It will give the appearance that they have bowed to political pressure from ministers to remove someone from broadcasting for going against current government policies.” a permit.
“Given the controversy surrounding the appointment of the BBC chairman, who plays a more important role in maintaining the BBC’s reputation, and who did not back down during the investigation, it also risks giving the impression that there is double standards in these problems.”