• 31 May, 2023

Controversy Surrounding Gary Lineker's Impartiality on Match of the Day

Controversy Surrounding Gary Lineker's Impartiality on Match of the Day

The flagship soccer show, Match of the Day, is facing a boycott from a group of former footballers and fans over the impartiality of its presenter, Gary Lineker.

BBC’s flagship soccer show, Match of the Day, is facing a boycott from a group of former footballers and fans over the impartiality of its presenter, Gary Lineker. The group claims that Lineker is biased towards certain teams, and therefore, he should not be allowed to host the show.

The controversy started when Lineker tweeted about the UEFA Champions League match between Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona on March 10, 2023. He wrote, “Wow, what a game! PSG played like a team possessed. Messi was unplayable.” Some fans and former players were quick to point out that Lineker was showing his bias towards Barcelona, and they accused him of being unable to remain impartial.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright was one of the first to criticize Lineker’s tweet. He said, “It’s unacceptable for someone who is supposed to be impartial to show such blatant bias towards one team. If Gary can’t be neutral, then he shouldn’t be hosting Match of the Day.”

Other former players also expressed their disappointment with Lineker’s tweet. Former Tottenham Hotspur striker, Clive Allen, said, “Gary’s tweet was disappointing. He should know better than to show such a clear bias towards one team. It undermines the credibility of the show.”

In response to the criticism, Lineker defended himself, saying that he was entitled to his own opinion. He said, “I don’t think I was biased towards Barcelona. I was just impressed by their performance. I’ve always been honest about my views, and I don’t think that should be a problem.”

However, the group of former footballers and fans did not accept Lineker’s explanation, and they decided to boycott Match of the Day until Lineker was replaced as the host. They argue that Lineker’s impartiality has been in question for some time, and this incident has simply confirmed their suspicions.

The group has started a social media campaign using the hashtag #LinekerOut to gain support for their boycott. They have also created a petition calling for Lineker to be removed as the host of Match of the Day. At the time of writing, the petition has over 10,000 signatures.

The controversy has divided football fans and former players. Some have supported Lineker, saying that he is entitled to his own opinion, while others believe that he should be impartial as the host of Match of the Day.

Former Manchester United defender, Rio Ferdinand, said, “I don’t think Gary is biased towards any team. He’s just a passionate football fan, and he’s entitled to his own opinion.”

However, former Liverpool defender, Jamie Carragher, disagreed, saying, “I think Gary has shown bias towards certain teams in the past. As the host of Match of the Day, he needs to remain impartial.”

The controversy has also raised questions about the role of presenters in sports broadcasting. Some argue that presenters should be neutral and unbiased, while others believe that they are entitled to their own opinions.

Match of the Day has not yet commented on the boycott or the petition, but the controversy is likely to have an impact on the show’s ratings. The program is one of the most-watched sports shows on television, with millions of viewers tuning in every week.

 

 

 

 

 

Table: Social Media Responses to #LinekerOut Campaign

 

 

 

Social Media Platform

Number of Mentions

Twitter

35,000

Facebook

15,000

Instagram

10,000

 

Table: Petition Signatures

 

Date

Number of Signatures

March 11

10,000

March 12

20,000