Football pundits Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer opened up on the entire Match of the Day (MOTD) controversy as they returned to the BBC box ahead of the FA Cup tie between Manchester City and Burnley.
The former player-turned-pundit and long-time host of MOTD was told to take a step back from hosting the show following a disputed tweet surrounding the UK government’s immigration policy. The decision from the BBC prompted a huge stir amongst fans and pundits alike – including Alan Shearer, who decided to boycott the platform in protest.
Shearer, however, was happy to be back in the studio after the controversy surrounding Lineker and the BBC. The former Newcastle United striker addressed how difficult it was for everyone in these dark times.
Speaking on the BBC (via the Manchester Evening News), Alan Shearer was quoted as saying the following:
“It’s good [to be here]. I just wanted to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were about all the audiences that missed out last weekend. It was a really difficult situation for everyone concerned and through no fault of their own, some really great people in TV and in radio were put in an impossible situation, that wasn’t fair.”
“It’s good to get back to some sort of normality and be talking about football again.”
In response to Alan Shearer’s comments on the situation, Gary Lineker simply replied:
“Absolutely, I echo those sentiments.”
Gary Lineker did not have much to elaborate on Alan Shearer’s comments. The former Leicester City and FC Barcelona forward quickly ended the conversation and moved towards the build-up to Manchester City vs Burnley in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.
It is worth mentioning that the Match of the Day program did run last week without Gary Lineker serving as the host. It was a 20 minute program on the BBC without any commentators or experts and just showed the highlights from the Premier League games.
When did Gary Lineker first start hosting Match of the Day program?
Gary Lineker has been one of Britain’s most well-known sports presenters in recent times.
The former England international first hosted the Match of the Day program back in 1999, replacing Des Lynam. According to the Guardian, Lineker has since become the highest paid presenter at the BBC.
Lineker has also been presenting other footballing tournaments like the UEFA Champions League with BT Sport. He has, however, since stepped down.