Match of the Day is in trouble as commentators join a growing staff strike.

Match of the Day, the BBC’s flagship football show, is in crisis after its regular commentators joined a boycott in solidarity with Gary Lineker.

Four social media commentators said it would not be “appropriate” for them to work on the show.

Ian Wright and Alan Shearer had previously announced Saturday’s show.

Following the talks, the BBC asked Lineker to step down from presenting due to his criticism of the government’s asylum policy.

The corporation said it considered his “recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines”, adding it had been “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”.

MOTD commentators Steve Wilson, Conor McNamara, Robyn Cowen, and Steven Wyeth issued a joint statement on social media, stating that they “do not feel it would be appropriate to participate in the programme” on Saturday.

“We are relieved that football fans who want to watch their teams should still be able to do so,” they said, adding that alternative sources for game commentary were available for the show to use.

In response to the growing boycott, the BBC said the English Premier League football highlights show would air “without studio presentation or punditry” and instead “focus on match action”.

“Some of our pundits have said that they do not wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary,” a spokesperson said later.

“We understand their point of view, and we’ve decided that the show will focus on match action rather than studio presentation or punditry.”

Meanwhile, BBC Sport understands that the Premier League has informed the 12 clubs playing matches on Saturday that no requests for MOTD post-match interviews will be made.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *