UK: BBC in crisis after Gary Lineker suspension

After the outcry over the suspension of Gary Linker, the BBC is under pressure this Sunday

UK: BBC in crisis after Gary Lineker suspension

After the outcry over the suspension of Gary Linker, the BBC is under pressure this Sunday. No way out of the crisis seems in sight, two days after the storm triggered by the announcement of the suspension of the former footballer and star presenter of the very popular show "Match Of The Day". This case revives both debate over the group's impartiality and criticism of its leadership.

BBC sports programming will be disrupted for the second day in a row after the defection of many consultants and commentators, "in solidarity" with Gary Lineker. On Saturday, several football shows were canceled at the last minute, forcing the BBC to apologize to viewers. Gary Lineker, 62, was sacked on Friday after criticizing the Conservative government's bill to prevent migrants arriving through the English Channel from seeking asylum in the UK, a plan denounced as far as the UN .

"Blackout at BBC Sport", headlines the Sunday Express on Sunday while the case was still in the headlines, amid a very tense debate on immigration and recurring criticism from the British right. on an alleged bias of the BBC.

On Sunday morning, UK Finance Minister Jeremy Hunt said he wanted "the BBC to maintain its reputation for independence and impartiality". "When you interview me, people need to know that you're doing it on behalf of the public, not for political reasons," he said.

Under pressure, the group's chief executive, Tim Davie, "absolutely" refused to resign. He said he wanted to "settle the situation calmly" and "get Gary back on the air." Gary Lineker "loves Match Of The Day but he will never go back on his words," the footballer's son, George Lineker, told the Sunday Mirror.

On Twitter, where he has 8.8 million subscribers, Gary Lineker denounced "a cruel policy aimed at the most vulnerable, in language not unlike that used by Germany in the years 1930". The government text, which according to the government aims to put an end to the illegal arrival of migrants through the Channel, was denounced by the UN, which accused London of wanting to "end the right of asylum".

Gary Lineker, nicknamed "Mr Nice" for his impeccable behavior throughout his career - he has never received a single yellow card - is used to expressing his progressive political positions, especially for the reception refugees.

The former 48-goal striker for England did not react publicly to his suspension but repeated this week that he fully assumed his words. On Saturday, he traveled to his hometown of Leicester, where he started his professional career, for the Foxes' game against Chelsea in the Premier League. Meanwhile, ratings skyrocketed on Saturday for the must-see "Match Of The Day," which aired in a scaled-down format, without a presenter or consultants. More than 2.5 million viewers watched, almost 500,000 more than the previous week according to the BBC.