Match of the Day legend Des Lynam fires a shot at his successor Gary Lineker over his political views and urges the broadcaster to ‘get on with football’
- Gary Lineker responded to the comments on his Twitter account
Legendary Match of the Day legend Des Lynam raised his eyebrows this morning after he fired a shot at the show’s current host, Gary Lineker, on Radio 4.
Mr Lynam, who formerly presented the BBC’s football results program before Mr Lineker, criticized his successor for his political stance and told him to “get on with football”.
Asked by moderator Paddy O’Connell what he thought of the former England striker’s personal views, Mr Lynam said: “I like him as a guy.” I like him as a broadcaster.
“But I think there were some areas he should stay out of, for example the last World Cup which was in Qatar.”
“And he was very, very sensitive to the limitations of society and of Qatar.” And he’s right about that, but he’s not the man to say, ‘Go on with football.’
Broadcasting legend Des Lynam has slammed Gary Lineker for voicing his political views on TV, telling him to “get on with football”.
Gary Lineker, pictured at Wimbledon during the third round, responded on Twitter that Mr Lynam, whom he replaced as Match of The Day presenter in 1999, was “entitled to his opinion”.
Mr Lineker then responded on his Twitter account, writing: “Des is entitled to his opinion… and so am I, of course.”
The ex-footballer opened the BBC’s coverage of last year’s World Cup in Qatar with a speech criticizing the country’s human rights record and its well-documented treatment of migrant workers.
The broadcaster also said ahead of the tournament that it would not follow FIFA’s message to “stick to football” during BBC coverage of the tournament.
Used to scrutiny for his politics, Mr Lineker missed a broadcast of Match of The Day in March after he was accused of breaking the BBC’s impartiality rules.
He was reinstated the following week after several BBC stars and Mr Lineker’s colleagues threatened a strike if he was not backed by the station.
After returning to the program, he was adamant about his cause, telling Men’s Health Magazine that “honestly, it never occurred to me that it was going to get where it was supposed to.”
He pointed out that he worked for refugee charities for years and was shocked at the backlash he received for comparing Suella Braverman’s crackdown on refugee boats to the politics of Nazi Germany.
He said: “Then the ‘Stay Football’ people got involved and I replied to one of them by just saying there wasn’t a massive influx, that the UK was taking in far fewer refugees than other European countries, that was a cruel policy and the language used in the debate reminded us of the debate in Germany in the 1930s. I think that is factually correct.”
Mr Lineker and Mr Lynam have had a good relationship over the years since the youthful looking Leicester-born broadcaster succeeded his boss in 1999.
Mr Lynam was the face of the BBC’s popular football show before moving to BBC competitor ITV.
The former Tottenham and Barcelona striker has previously praised his predecessor, saying he was one of the transfer’s inspirations.