Gary Lineker stepping back from presenting Match of the Day

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Gary Lineker has presented Match of the Day since 1999.

Gary Lineker is stepping down from presenting Match of the Day, the BBC has announced.

Mr. Lineker will not present the show until he comes to an agreement with the BBC on his use of social media.

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The shock announcement comes days after Mr. Lineker compared the Conservative government’s new illegal immigration bill to “Germany in the 1930s”.

A statement from BBC reads: “We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines. The BBC has decided that he will step back from presenting MOTD until we've got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.

“We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can't have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on political issues or political controversies"

The ex-footballer received backlash and calls to delete the tweet, but he has so far refused to do so. Earlier in the week, Lineker told reporters outside his London home he was not worried about being suspended by the BBC.

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Lineker has been presenting BBC’s flagship football highlights programme, Match of The Day, since the late 1990’s. Before that, he had a successful playing career for England, Leicester City, Everton, Tottenham Hotspur and Barcelona.

On Thursday, March 9, Lineker tweeted to thank fans for their support and suggested he expected to be presenting this weeks Match of The Day. He said: “Well, it’s been an interesting couple of days. Happy that this ridiculously out of proportion story seems to be abating and very much looking forward to presenting @BBCMOTD on Saturday. Thanks again for all your incredible support. It’s been overwhelming.”

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