Gary Lineker is set to host Match of the Day this Saturday on BBC, despite his controversial tweet condemning the government’s latest migration policy. The TV personality confirmed the news on Twitter amid talks of his possible suspension by the broadcaster.
He said: “Well, it’s been an interesting couple of days. Happy that this ridiculously out of proportion story seems to be abating and very much looking forward to presenting @BBCMOTD on Saturday. Thanks again for all your incredible support. It’s been overwhelming.”
The popular football presenter came under fire on Tuesday night, after likening the government’s latest migration policy aimed at stopping the surge of migrants crossing the Channel to language used in Germany in the 1930s.
He took to Twitter as he responded to a video of Suella Braverman, the Home Secretary, explaining in detail the ‘Stop the Boats’ or Illegal Migration Bill in the government’s effort to end illegal entry as a route to asylum in the UK.
His comments have since angered Tory MPs with Craig Mackinlay, saying they were a “step too far” and suggested BBC sack Lineker, while Jonathan Gullis urged the broadcaster to “stand up” to the presenter and “remind him his job is to talk football, not politics.”
Lucy Frazer, the culture secretary said the presenter’s tweets were “disappointing” and “inappropriate”. She said: “It was important for the BBC to retain impartiality if it is to retain the trust of the public who pay the licence fee.”
Responding to a question in the Commons, she said: “As somebody whose grandmother escaped Nazi Germany in the 1930s I think it’s really disappointing and inappropriate to compare government policy on immigration events in Germany in the 1930s.”
When he was approached by reporters outside his London home on Thursday morning (March 9), 62-year-old Lineker said he would stand by his tweet and he had no fear of being suspended by the BBC.
The broadcaster reportedly said on Wednesday Lineker would be “spoken to” as they were taking the matter “extremely seriously.” However, on Wednesday morning (March 8), Lineker appeared unfazed by the attack and consequences that his action may incur and he will “continue to speak up for those who have no voice.”