‘We would support all members who might face consequences for choosing not to complete their broadcast commitments’
The Premier League has reportedly informed clubs that players and managers won’t do their post-match Match of the Day and BBC TV commitments as the fallout over Gary Lineker’s Tweet continues.
The BBC is said to have informed the Premier League that the 12 clubs playing Saturday would not receive interview requests.
Match of the Day is proceeding, but without a presenter, pundits or commentators.
On Friday, the broadcaster announced that Lineker would be “stepping back” from his hosting role on the football highlights show until they found an “agreed and clear position” on his use of social media.
The 62-year-old has been embroiled in a row over impartiality after comparing the language used to launch a new government asylum policy with 1930s Germany on Twitter. In response to a Home Office video – in which home secretary Suella Braverman shared plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats – the former footballer wrote that the language used was “not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.
Sportsmail quoted a spokesperson from the PFA saying: “We have been informed that players involved in today’s games will not be asked to participate in interviews with Match of the Day.
“The PFA have been speaking to members who wanted to take a collective position and to be able to show their support for those who have chosen not to be part of tonight’s programme.
“During those conversations, we made clear that, as their union, we would support all members who might face consequences for choosing not to complete their broadcast commitments.
“This is a common-sense decision that ensures players won’t now be put in that position.”
The publication said its sources had suggested the decision was mutual but added that other insiders had claimed it was pushed by the BBC to a pre-emptive move, to avoid players trying to show their solidarity with Linker.
Cancelling the programme altogether would put the BBC in breach of a £70million-a-year contract with the Premier League, Sportsmail reported.