The ongoing row between the BBC and Gary Lineker reached new levels today, with a number of BBC Sport presenters refusing to go on air, in a show of solidarity with Lineker.
It has caused mass disruption for the studio, with many of their top sports shows being replaced in their scheduling. This is on top of yesterday's announcement that there will be no punditry on Match of the Day this evening.
One of 5 Live's man presenters, Mark Chapman, boycotted his show, leading it to be replaced by a podcast repeat.
Football Focus and Final Score will not be airing - they have been replaced with Bargain Hunt and the Repair Shop - after presenters Alex Scott and Jason Mohammad announced that they would not be appearing.
BBC 5 Live's Fighting Talk will not air today either with presenter Colin Murray and his entire team deciding to stand with Lineker.
Match of the Day's regular commentary team have also stepped down, while it has been reported that the BBC do not have the rights to the Premier League's global commentary.
This leaves the BBC in a situation where they will have to choose whether to air MOTD without punditry or commentary, or replace it altogether.
In the latest update to the situation, the BBC announced that the show would go ahead, but that it would only be 20 minutes in length.
Mass BBC Football Walk-Out In Solidarity With Gary Lineker
Match of the Day will run for 20 minutes tonight. pic.twitter.com/YIuoCFVbvP
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 11, 2023
🚨 | List of BBC shows not airing today in response to Gary Lineker's suspension
❌ Football Focus
❌ Final Score
❌ Fighting Talk
⏳ 5 Live Sport in doubt pic.twitter.com/fl5iVjFht9
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) March 11, 2023
BBC Radio 5 Live has just had to replace today’s scheduled football programming with a podcast repeat…
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) March 11, 2023
READ HERE: Pundits And Commentators Boycott MOTD In Courageous Show Of Solidarity With Gary Lineker
Former BBC general, Greg Dyke, also criticised the BBC and their impartiality rules.
"There is a long established precedent in the BBC that if you are an entertainment presenter or a sports presenter then you are not bound by those same rules," said Dyke.
Gary Lineker's Match of the Day teammate, Ian Wright, expanded on his stance by saying that he would quit the BBC if Lineker was fired.
"If they get rid of Gary Lineker, I'm out, I'm gone, I'm not staying there.
"On his own platform, he should be able to say what he wants to say.
"They've got no empathy" and "the most vulnerable ones are always the ones that suffer.
"He [Lineker] is so right with what's he's saying."
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp also gave his thoughts on the matter, after his side's loss to Bournemouth.
"They asked him to step down for the things he said? So my problem with the situation how I understand it – and I’m not native – is that I cannot see any reason why they would ask anyone to step back for saying that. I can’t. I’m not sure if that’s a language issue or not.
“But that’s the world we are living in. Everybody is so concerned about doing things in the right manner, saying the right stuff to everybody, and if you don’t do that you create a s***storm which we didn’t have when we were young.
“It’s a really difficult world to live in. If I understand it right then this is about an opinion about human rights. That should be possible to say.
“What I don’t understand is why everyone goes on Twitter and says something. I don’t understand the social media part of it. I’m too old for that. If I’ve got it right then for me there’s no reason (for the BBC to have stood Lineker down).”