Gary Lineker slammed by Graeme Souness over Match of the Day row: ‘Freedom of speech doesn’t apply when you work for the BBC’

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Gary Lineker
Former Liverpool player Graeme Souness has criticised Gary Lineker over his comments that sparked a debacle at Match of the Day.
  • Lineker was dropped from MOTD in March
  • Ex-England star was quickly restored
  • Souness says he was wrong to make comments

WHAT HAPPENED? Lineker was dropped from the BBC programme after he criticised the UK government's asylum policy on social media. The decision to remove the ex-England star from the show sparked outrage and Lineker was soon brought back to the show by the BBC. However, Souness does not agree with the controversy and argued that Lineker should not have made the comments.

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WHAT THEY SAID: He said on the Up Front with Simon Jordan podcast: “If it had been me, I wouldn’t have walked out. It wasn’t Gary Lineker’s first time upsetting people and I don’t think he should’ve said what he did because when you take the BBC’s money you have to be very careful with what you say politically. Freedom of speech is something that doesn’t apply when you work for the BBC, I think you have to be very careful."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Match of the Day went into meltdown after Lineker was dropped as pundits and commentators refused to work on the show in solidarity with the former striker. The first show without Lineker lasted just 20 minutes as there were no presenters or pundits, while the Premier League highlights had no commentary.


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Gary Lineker

Graeme Souness

Gary Lineker 2023

WHAT NEXT? Lineker quickly returned to Match of the Day hosting duties and will be presenting the show on Saturday.