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Alex Scott pulls out of Football Focus in solidarity with Gary Lineker

Tom Wood

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Alex Scott pulls out of Football Focus in solidarity with Gary Lineker

Alex Scott has announced that she will not be appearing on Football Focus today in solidarity with Gary Lineker.

Lineker – as well as pundits Alan Shearer and Ian Wright – will not be appearing on this weekend’s episode of the English football round-up show because of a row over comments that Lineker made on his Twitter account about the UK government.

Scott tweeted: “I made a decision last night that even though I love my show and we have had an incredible week winning an SJA [Sports Journalism Award] for Football Focus that it doesn’t feel right for me to go ahead with the show today.

“Hopefully I will be back in the chair next week….”

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Alex Scott also made a stand after FIFA banned players wearing armbands supporting LGBT+ people during the recent World Cup. Credit: BBC
Alex Scott also made a stand after FIFA banned players wearing armbands supporting LGBT+ people during the recent World Cup. Credit: BBC

After Lineker’s comments online – in which he slammed Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his Conservative government over language used in a Home Office post about small boats crossing the channel – the BBC released a statement that said he would no longer host the show until ‘an agreed and clear position on his use of social media' is found.

The statement continued: “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.

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“When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.

“We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”

Alan Shearer also won't appear on the show tonight. Credit: BBC
Alan Shearer also won't appear on the show tonight. Credit: BBC

In his post, Lineker had said: “There is no huge influx.

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“We take far fewer refugees than other major European countries.

"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."

Responding to the controversy, Sunak defended his government’s stance, stating: “I hope everyone over time realises that this is the right approach because we’ve looked at lots of different things, tried lots of other ways, as I’ve said, and nothing else has worked.

“And having looked at this long and hard myself I’m confident this is the best and right approach to solve this problem, which I think everyone acknowledges is a challenge and it’s one of my five priorities because I think it’s undoubtedly something that the country thinks is important and needs resolving.

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“The question is how do you resolve it in a way that’s fair, compassionate and can resolve it and that’s what I think our approach does.”

Ian Wright also stepped down in 'solidarity' with Gary Lineker. Credit: BBC
Ian Wright also stepped down in 'solidarity' with Gary Lineker. Credit: BBC

Lineker’s co-stars Ian Wright and Alan Shearer will also not appear on tonight’s show, which is to be without a presenter, in solidarity with their colleague.

Former Arsenal man Wright said: “Everybody knows what Match of the Day means to me, but I've told the BBC I won't be doing it tomorrow. Solidarity."

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Shearer also tweeted: “I have informed the BBC that I won’t be appearing on MOTD tomorrow night”.

Featured Image Credit: BBC

Topics: TV and Film, Gary Lineker, Celebrity, Football, Sport, Politics

Tom Wood
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