UK controversy: Here’s why football legend Gary Lineker was suspended by the BBC

« Revolt for Lineker », « Mutiny at the BBC », « The Beebs goes too far » … The announcement on Friday March 12 of the temporary suspension of the former (Site notre bureau spécialisé)er and presenter of the very popular program Match Of The Day, caused such an outcry that it largely eclipsed the headlines of British newspapers Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s very political visit to Paris the day before.

The ex-England striker, who has presented the (Site notre bureau spécialisé) show since 1999, was suspended after he challenged the Conservative government’s new bill on Tuesday to stop migrants arriving through the English Channel on the other, asylum in the United Kingdom, a project denounced as far as the UN.

A « Cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable »

It’s about a « Cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable, in a language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 1930s »wrote on Twitter the 62-year-old ex-(Site notre bureau spécialisé)erwho regularly shares his progressive opinions – against Brexit or in favor of welcoming migrants – to his 8.8 million subscribers.

In the context of the debate, it was very crisp on the side of immigration, but also criticisms which are currently made on the impartiality of the audiovisual part of the British drone, announced the BBC in advance. « has decided that (Gary Lineker) is going to step back from presenting Match Of The Day until we have a clear agreement with him on his use of social media ».

wave of support

In the aftermath, several weekend (Site notre bureau spécialisé) assignment consultants decided to withdraw from their programs by « solidarity », forcing the BBC to apologize to viewers and replace at the last minute some of its sports programs with antiques or do-it-yourself shows.

Ex-England (Site notre bureau spécialisé)er Ian Wright in Auckland, New Zealand on October 22, 2022 AFP/Archives/WILLIAM WEST.

As for Match Of The Day, a real institution in the United Kingdom where the program has been broadcast since 1964, it is still on the program but there will be no analysis or presenter, the BBC said when a Petition of support for the former international exceeds 178,000 signatures.

The BBC is finished on the side of the plate by doing this

« The BBC is finished on the side of the plate by doing this »an estimate after AFP John Pearce, a 45-year-old accountant in London. « He is a very talented and popular presenter and I don’t think he should be silenced. »

« If he had tweeted to support the government, would that have happened? Probably not. It was only because he tweeted against them, against the power, that we tried to silence him »also supports Vishnu Mohan, a 27-year-old trader.

According to The Daily Express newspaper on Saturday March 11, a group of 36 British Conservative MPs wrote a letter to the group’s chief executive, Tim Davie, demanding an « unreserved » apology from the presenter.

« The BBC has undermined its own creation by giving the impression of pinching in the face of pressure from the government », an estimate by former BBC Director General Greg Dyke.


The BBC is regularly attached by the conservatives who accuse it in particular of having covered Brexit in a biased way. In the midst of inflation, the government of Boris Johnson last year froze the license fee for two years, additional budgetary pressure for the group which is seeking to save money.

In the face of criticism, the audiovisual giant has reinforced impartiality as a « priority » and, on the advice of the government, Richard Sharp was appointed in 2021 to the presidency of the BBC.

But this appointment is disputed because this former banker, financial support of the Conservative party, would have played the matchmaker shortly before his appointment to help Boris Johnson obtain a loan of 800,000 pounds (900,000 euros).

Gary Lineker, 48 in England until his retirement in 1994, did not react publicly to his suspension but repeated this week that he fully assumed his proposals.

Saturday afternoon, « Mr Nice » – so nicknamed for his irreproachable behavior throughout his career because he has never received a single yellow card – was in Leicester (center), his hometown where he started a career professional, for the match between the Foxes and Chelsea in the Premier League.

BBC boss won’t quit

BBC chief executive Tim Davie said on Saturday he will not step down despite the storm unleashed by the star presenter’s suspension.

“Everyone wants to resolve the situation calmly”, Mr Davie said in an interview with the BBC. Questioning on possible departure, Mr. Davie answers: « Absolutely passable »affirmative « Looking forward to us resolving this situation. »

« To be clear, success for me would be for Gary to return to the air and together we bring sports coverage to the public. international »he added, claiming to be « sorry we weren’t able to provide it today ».

Author: Jacqueline MANNESSIER