Gary Lineker 'didn't choose to step back' says Dan Walker
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Jermaine Jenas has announced that he would have refused to replace Gary Lineker on Match of the Day (MOTD) this weekend. He becomes one of the numerous pundits that have sided with their colleague after he was told to step back by the BBC.
It was announced on Friday evening that the much-adored football show would be reshaped in the immediate future after Lineker caused a stir on Twitter with a tweet about the government’s new asylum policy. The former England international likened the plans from Home Secretary Suella Braverman to how Nazi Germany operated and has refused to apologise for the comparison.
The BBC then announced that they have stood down the Leicester City hero until an agreement is reached on how he can use social media. The news sparked uproar, with co-pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright promptly revealing that they will not appear on MOTD to show solidarity with Lineker.
Several other names were promptly thrown into the ring as short-term replacements for the presenter, with Jenas being the latest to rule himself out of the running. The ex-midfielder was presenting the BBC’s One Show when the news broke but quickly addressed speculation after he was off-set.
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The 40-year-old tweeted: “Been on air with the one show. I wasn’t down to be doing match of the day tomorrow, but if I was I would of said no and stood with my fellow pundits and @GaryLineker.”
Pundits such as Micah Richards and Alex Scott had also previously ruled themselves out on Friday night as MOTD fell apart in front of the nation’s eyes. Though it is not only the familiar faces that won’t be seen on television screens on Saturday evening, as several commentators have also revealed that they will be boycotting the show this weekend.
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Steve Wilson revealed: “As commentators on MOTD, we have decided to step down from (Saturday’s) broadcast. We are comforted that football fans who want to watch their teams should still be able to do so, as management can use World Feed commentary if they wish. However, in the circumstances, we do not feel it would be appropriate to take part in the programme.”
Fears are also growing about how limited the coverage will be, especially because players are also considering refusing to conduct interviews with the show. It remains to be seen how the show is stitched together, with the BBC revealing that no pundits will be present.
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