Gary Lineker holding a BBC Sport microphone
Gary Lineker has hosted Match of the Day since 1999

The Premier League has informed the 12 teams playing on Saturday that players and managers will not be asked to do interviews for Match of the Day.

It comes after the BBC told host Gary Lineker to step back following his criticism of government asylum policy.

The show will air on Saturday night without a studio presenter, pundits or its regular commentators.

A number of players from various clubs had suggested they wanted to boycott post-match interviews with the show.

They had contacted the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) to say they may want to show solidarity with Lineker and the MOTD pundits.

Now the Premier League has told the PFA, League Managers Association (LMA) and the clubs not to expect requests to conduct post-match interviews for the programme.

On Twitter, former England striker Lineker compared the language used by the government to unveil its new plans as “not dissimilar to” 1930s Germany.

The BBC said it it had asked Lineker to step back from presenting after “extensive discussions” with him.

The corporation said it considered his “recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines”, adding it had been “decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media”.

Lineker has presented the show since 1999.

After it was announced he was stepping back, pundits Ian Wright, Alan Shearer, Micah Richards and Jermaine Jenas all said they would not appear on the show, while Alex Scott hinted the same.

In a later statement, a spokesperson said: “Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary.

“We understand their position and we have decided that the programme will focus on match action without studio presentation or punditry.”

Later, MOTD commentators Steve Wilson, Conor McNamara, Robyn Cowen and Steven Wyeth shared a joint statement online saying they “do not feel it would be appropriate to take part in the programme” on Saturday.

Everything you need to know about your Premier League team bannerBBC Sport banner footer

Source link