As covered in mainstream media, a high profile dispute between the BBC and Gary Lineker resulted in significant coverage to football coverage of the weekend (11th/12th March 2023). The dispute resulted from opinions expressed on the presenter’s personal social media account relating to current government policy.
The BBC asked Gary Lineker to step back from presenting pending further discussion on the issue, effectively suspending the presenter. Numerous presenting colleagues were unhappy with this move, and refused to present programmes. This meant several programmes including Final Score and Football Focus were not broadcast. Contractual obligations means that the BBC were still obliged to show Premier League highlights, meaning both editions Match of the Day ran without commentary or presenter analysis.
The dispute has now been resolved, as the BBC are commissioning an independent body to review social media policy. Both the BBC and presenter Gary Lineker are supporting this move, with all presenters including Gary now set to return to presenting duties.