(CNN) Gary Lineker will step back from presenting Match of the Day, the famous British soccer offer, following controversy over a tweet he wrote earlier in the week, the BBC announced on Friday.
On Tuesday, Lineker tweeted a video posted to Twitter by the UK Home Office announcing the government’s announcement Asylum seeker policy.
He then went on to write: “There is no massive refugee influx. We are taking in far fewer refugees than other major European countries. This is just an immeasurably harsh policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language not unlike that used by Germany in 30 seconds, Am I off duty?”
A statement from the BBC said Lineker’s decision to back down came after “extensive discussions” with the former England international and his team.
“We have said that we consider his recent social media activity to be a violation of our guidelines,” the statement said.
“The BBC has decided that he will withdraw from presenting Match of the Day until we have an agreed and clear position on his use of social media.
“When it comes to leading our coverage of football and sports, Gary is second to none. We’ve never said that Gary should be a no-brainer, or that he can’t have a point on the issues that matter to him, but we have said he should walk away.” Too much about taking sides on partisan political issues or political differences.”
The decision sparked a lot of backlash online.
Ian Wright, the former England international who appeared on Match of the Day alongside Lineker, said he would not appear on the program on Saturday in response to the BBC’s decision.
“Everyone knows what today’s game means to me, but I told the BBC I won’t do it tomorrow. Solidarity,” Wright wrote in a tweet.
Meanwhile, former BBC Breakfast and Football Focus presenter Dan Walker tweeted: “I was sitting with Gary Lineker on MOTD…not sure I’d imagine that this weekend. What a mess!”
Lineker’s team declined to comment on the BBC’s statement when contacted by CNN.
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