Match of the Day to go ahead without pundits after mass withdrawal ‘in solidarity’ with Gary Lineker

Match of the Day will be broadcast without a presenter or pundits, the BBC has confirmed, as the fallout of Gary Lineker “stepping back” continues.

The broadcaster announced on Friday afternoon that lead presenter Lineker would not present the programme for an indeterminate amount of time in response to comments made by the 62-year-old on social media.

Lineker compared the language in the government’s new Illegal Migration Bill to that used in Germany in the 1930s, with Home Secretary Suella Braverman among the politicians to criticise him.

It has been reported that Lineker did not agree to be taken off air, with the decision instead one taken by the BBC after the former England footballer refused to apologise for his comments.

Regular pundit Ian Wright soon confirmed he will also not be involved, a decision he made himself, tweeting: “I’ve told the BBC I won’t be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity.”

Alan Shearer, another regular pundit, soon followed, along with Jermaine Jenas, who also presents The One Show on BBC One, and Alex Scott, another prominent presenter for the broadcaster.

The broadcaster, therefore, has confirmed the BBC’s flagship football highlights show will be shown “without studio presentation or punditry.”

A BBC spokesperson said: “Some of our pundits have said that they don’t wish to appear on the programme while we seek to resolve the situation with Gary.

“We understand their position and we have decided that the programme will focus on match action without studio presentation or punditry.”