Gary Lineker ‘didn’t choose to step back’ says Dan Walker
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The BBC programme was scheduled to air at noon and be hosted by Kelly Somers, after Alex Scott stepped down in light of Gary Lineker being suspended from the BBC. Football Focus and Final Score will be replaced by an extended version of Bargain Hunt and The Repair Shop.
Football Focus has been replaced by Bargain Hunt.
Final Score, which should air at 4.30pm, has also been cancelled, with The Repair Shop now appearing on the schedule in its place.
Viewers of the BBC shows took to their Twitter pages to express their opinions on the shows being taken off the air.
@likegold8 asked: “What will replace MOTD tonight?” to which Joe Hardy replied: “Apparently they are going to broadcast without punditry.”
Ken Green commented: “Looking forward to MOTM tonight without all the waffle!”
@durotrig added: “Brilliant. Sharp, Davie and Gibb certainly have scored an own goal of epic proportions. They need to be booted out.”
AnneliseJespersen teased: “Can’t believe they haven’t put Homes Under The Hammer in there.”
@Mutteroo laughed: “That’ll appeal to footie fans.”
Jane praised: “Magnificent programming decisions.”(sic)
The move to take the football shows off the air comes as Gary Lineker’s tweet regarding the government’s asylum bill caused controversy.
Despite being optimistic about hosting Match of the Day on Sunday, March 11, the BBC decided to suspend Gary from presenting on the channel.
Subsequently, many of Gary’s fellow presenters have pulled out of their duties, incluidng Ian Wright and Alan Shearer.
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The programme will have no presenters or pundits while Premiere League players may not give post-match interviews to the BBC.
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.”
Alex took to her Twitter on Saturday and said: “I made a decision last night that even though I love my show and we have had an incredible week winning an SJA 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.”
As well as Football Focus and Final Score, Mark Chapman will not host this afternoon’s 5Live sport coverage.
His decision to step away from hosting 5Live’s coverage on Saturday afternoon has plunged the BBC into an even deeper crisis.
Express.co.uk has contacted the BBC for a comment.
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