Gary Lineker is to step back from presenting Match of the Day, with the BBC considering his "recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines".


In a statement, the broadcaster announced that Lineker would not return as host until an agreement is reached on his social media use.

In a since-deleted tweet, the former England international footballer said that the language used by Home Secretary Suella Braverman in outlining plans to detain and remove migrants illegally entering the UK on small boats was "not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the '30s".

The BBC, which has strict impartiality guidelines, had previously said that it would be having a "frank conversation" with Lineker.

The broadcaster has now said that following "extensive discussions with Gary and team in recent days", "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".

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It continued: "When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.

"We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can't have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies."

Regular MOTD pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright have stated that they will not appear on the programme's 11th March edition, with Wright explaining his absence was in "solidarity" with Lineker.

Lineker – who is employed by the BBC on a freelance basis – has hosted Match of the Day since 1999.

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