More BBC colleagues and footballers are showing solidarity with the 62-year-old after former footballer Gary Lineker was suspended from hosting British football show “Match of the Day” in a row over a tweet critical of the government. The PFA, the English professional footballers’ association, said on Saturday it would support players who did not want to be interviewed for the programme. “Any member who chooses not to fulfill their TV obligations will face consequences,” the PFA said in a statement. As per the announcement, there will be no Match of the Day interviews with Premier League players on Saturday.
The BBC announced on Friday that Lineker would not host the show on Saturday. The former England international did not want to apologise A tweet, he accused the government of using Nazi language in relation to refugees. The BBC saw it as a breach of its policy on staff independence.
Shortly after the suspension became known, pundits and former footballers Ian Wright and Alan Shearer announced they did not want to appear on the show. Other football pundits and BBC staff attended. According to the BBC, “Match of the Day” is a match-day summary broadcast without moderation and commentary. However, other BBC football programs were canceled due to staff boycotts.
Meanwhile, former Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn has also shown his solidarity with Lineker. Corbyn said Lineker had every right to speak his mind. The BBC’s Code of Conduct also allows for sensitive views to be expressed – even if it does not apply to the employee’s area of work. Corbyn criticized, according to a statement GuardiansThe public’s attention has shifted from asylum policy to Lineker and the BBC.
Conservatives reacted with outrage to Linegar’s statement
Lineker, who has presented the BBC program “Match of the Day” since 2009, tweeted that the language used by the Conservative government to promote its controversial asylum law was “not like Germany in the 1930s”. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Home Minister Suella Braverman reacted with outrage. Several Conservative MPs called on the BBC to part ways with Lineker.
The British government wants to first house migrants who enter the country without official permission in shelters and then deport them to Rwanda or other countries. The right to seek asylum should be taken away from them. These plans violate the European Convention on Human Rights. Home Secretary Braverman spoke of an “invasion” in view of the growing number of people entering the country unnecessarily through the English Channel.
Critics accuse her and other members of the government of inciting hatred against foreigners with their language. The BBC adheres to strict neutrality. Lineker, who has around 8.6 million followers on Twitter, has repeatedly criticized the Conservative government. With a basic salary of £1.35m (€1.51m), the former forward is the highest-paid BBC presenter.
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