Mar 12, 2023

By Jeremy Logan

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The BBC’s sports coverage faced a second day of significant disruptions as dozens of staff refused to work in solidarity with top soccer host Gary Lineker.

The BBC suspended Lineker, its highest-paid presenter, after he tweeted his disapproval of the the British government’s asylum policy.

The BBC is under increasing pressure to resolve the situation as calls for its executives to resign amid claims of political bias and repression of free expression grow louder.

Saturday’s episode of Match of the Day lasted just 20 minutes, with no presenter, commentary or interviews, after the fallout from the decision to take Lineker off air forced the BBC into a heavily limited highlights program.

Tim Davie, director-general of the BBC, apologized for the disruption.

Lineker, who has hosted Match of the Day for almost twenty-five years, has been embroiled in a battle over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum policy with 1930’s Germany.

On Tuesday, Lineker tweeted “Good heavens, this is beyond awful” in reaction to a video posted on Twitter by the British Home Office announcing the new proposed policy – an attempt to stop migrant boats crossing the English Channel from France which has been criticized by the United Nations and other global bodies.

Lineker added: “There is no huge influx. 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, and I’m out of order?”

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