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Match of the Day 2 to be ‘much-reduced’, BBC says


Match of the Day 2 to be ‘much-reduced’, BBC says


atch of the Day 2 will follow a “much-reduced” format on Sunday, the BBC has said.

BBC Sports Editor Dan Roan gave an update on the BBC’s Sports schedules following the ongoing row over Gary Lineker’s suspension which sparked a mass boycott of the BBC by pundits, players and managers.

Mr Roan tweeted: “At this stage BBC expecting the planned Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Manchester United this afternoon to be on BBC2, but with no pre-match presentation.

“Expecting Match of the Day 2 to follow similar much-reduced format to Match of the Day last night.”

It comes after former Spurs star Jermain Defoe pulled out of punditry duties on Match of the Day 2 tonight.

BBC One broadcast a stripped back Premier League highlights show on Saturday after Lineker was stood down as presenter.

Match of the Day was replaced by a shortened highlights reel featuring no commentary or studio punditry.

The length of the show was reduced from 80 to 20 minutes, and it did not feature the usual title music or graphics.

The BBC announced on Friday that it was temporarily removing Lineker from presenting duties after he criticised the government’s migration policy in an apparent breach of impartiality guidelines.

It sparked a wave of boycotts from fellow pundits and presenters, with Ian Wright and Alan Shearer among those withdrawing from Saturday’s broadcast.

BBC schedules were disrupted with programmes Football Focus, Final Score and 5Live’s Fighting Talk unable to air.

In an interview with the Sunday Mirror, Gary Lineker’s son George said that his father would not “back down on his word”.

He said: “Dad is a good man, a good human, and I’m proud of him for standing by his word. That’s why he was pulled off the show – because he wouldn’t apologise. But he will always speak up for people who don’t have a voice.

“He is passionate about helping refugee charities – he took in two refugees who he is still in touch with and trying to help.

“It means a lot to him to stand up for people whose only hope is to escape a country with only the clothes on their back. That’s why he’s been so firm.

“Will he go back to Match of the Day? I think so – he loves Match of the Day. But he won’t ever back down on his word.”

On Satuday BBC director-general Tim Davie apologised for the disruption caused to the broadcaster’s sports programming.

Speaking to BBC News in Washington, DC he said: “I’m very sorry for the disruption today. It’s been a difficult day and I’m sorry that audiences have been affected and they haven’t got the programming.

“As a keen sports fan, I know like everyone that to miss programming is a real blow and I am sorry about that. We are working very hard to resolve the situation and make sure that we get output back on air.”

The director-general said that he would not go into too much detail about the discussions being had, but that “everyone wants to calmly resolve the situation”.

“I would say Gary Lineker is a superb broadcaster. He’s the best in the business, that’s not for debate,” he added.

“To be clear, success for me is: Gary gets back on air and together we are giving to the audiences that world-class sports coverage which, as I say, I’m sorry we haven’t been able to deliver today.”

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