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Gary Lineker is reportedly stepping away from his role on Match of the Day after BBC's investigation into a tweet in which he compared the government's policies to those of Nazi Germany.
The presenter, 62, was spoken to by the BBC after his comments caused a stir earlier this week. Lineker shared a video tweeted out by Home Secretary Suella Braverman where she unveiled government plans to put a halt to migrant boats crossing the English Channel.
Lineker tweeted: "This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I'm out of order?"
Broadcasters BBC said shortly after that the Match Of The Day host would be “reminded of his responsibilities on social media”.
But a statement by the BBC has now revealed Lineker will be stepping back from his duties after failing to "agree a position on his use of social media".
It read: “The BBC has been in extensive discussions with Gary and his team in recent days. We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines.
“The BBC has 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.
“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.
“The BBC has 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's stance has been the subject of much debate this week, receiving support from thousands of Twitter users but also being targeted by several Tory politicians.
That included Conservative party deputy chairman Lee Anderson, who tweeted: "This is just another example of how out of touch these overpaid stars are with the voting public.
"Instead of lecturing, Mr Lineker should stick to reading out the football scores and flogging crisps."
Fans were understandably left stunned by the sudden news of the iconic football presenter's exit. And they were left torn over whether BBC had made the right call.
One Twitter user wrote: "He shouldn’t have to quit his job to have an opinion on social media, it isn’t like he’s saying this stuff on the show."
Another tweeted: "So much for free speech…"
A third fumed: "Cowardly. Utterly cowardly from the BBC," while a fourth wrote: "Cool, no longer need to watch Match of the Day then!"
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- Gary Lineker
- Conservative Party
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