Children deliver Gary Lineker letters of support after Match of the Day host is suspended from programme – sparking mutiny at the BBC
- Gary Lineker was asked to ‘step back’ from programme after a contoversial tweet
- Follow live coverage of all the fallout as BBC pundits stand with Gary Lineker
Children have delivered letters to Gary Lineker in solidarity with the suspended Match of the Day presenter amid an impartiality row with the BBC.
Two boys posted letters through the former England footballer’s door earlier today in front of onlooking press after the 62-year-old was told to ‘step back’ from his football hosting duties.
Tristan, eight, who did not want to give his surname, turned up with his mother and posted a letter saying ‘thank you so much’.
His mother said: ‘My son said, “Thank you so much. Thank you for defending the refugees”.’
A second boy was also seen delivering a letter through the star’s letterbox.
Lineker has previously taken refugees into his home, including a 26-year-old man from Turkey who was caught up in a military coup and escaped 18 months of imprisonment.
Match Of The Day host Gary Lineker outside his home in London today
Tonight’s Match Of The Day will air for 20 minutes with no presenters
READ MORE HERE: Match of the Day will last just 20 minutes tonight with NO commentary: Grinning Gary Lineker poses for fan selfies at Leicester match as BBC apologises to viewers after mass pundit boycott wrecked TV and radio schedules
Last October, Lineker said the man endured ‘hell’ in the UK’s asylum system.
He added: ‘He got out, and then he spent 18 months in our Home Office system where he was treated like s***. He said it was hell.’
He also offered his Surrey home to a refugee called Rasheed from Balochistan in Pakistan in 2020, who stayed there for 20 days while studying a law course.
Lineker was taken off air by BBC bosses on Friday after Tweeting earlier in the week that the government’s new ‘Stop The Boats’ immigration policy was ‘not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s’.
Regular pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer both announced they would not also appear on tonight’s Match of the Day to round up the day’s Premier League action as an act of ‘solidarity’ with their colleague.
In a passionate statement Wright said today: ‘If the BBC get rid of Gary Lineker, I’m out, I’m gone.’
Tonight’s Match Of The Day will air for 20 minutes and will now ‘focus on match action’ following the presenter, commentator, and pundit walkout, a BBC spokesperson said.
Earlier today, Football Focus and Final Score were hurriedly replaced by old episodes of Bargain Hunt and The Repair Shop after hosts Alex Scott, Kelly Somers, and Jason Mohammad all refused to take to the airwaves in solidarity with the former England star.
This is Lineker’s ‘Nazi’ jibe tweet that started the entire saga that has led to staff walkouts at the BBC after the corporation’s decision to boot the MOTD host off air
Sunday’s Match of the Day 2 is also in jeopardy after pundit Jermain Defoe announced he would not appear on the show.
Earlier today the Linekers received a Pret breakfast delivery and one of his sons told reporters his father had not yet woken up.
Lineker was seen leaving his home late this morning but did not answer questions.
His son Harry later said he had gone to watch the Leicester City match, where he was spotted posing with fans for selfies.
On Thursday, before he was told to step back from Match Of The Day, Lineker was more bullish, saying ‘no’ when asked if he feared suspension over his tweets.
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