Jurgen Klopp weighs into Gary Lineker BBC row as Premier League clubs begin Match of the Day boycott
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp said he could not understand why Gary Lineker was stood down by the BBC as Premier League clubs joined the boycott of Match of the Day.
The BBC said they would not ask Premier League players and managers to fulfil their broadcast requirements after the Professional Players Association (PFA) raised concerns.
It is understood players wanted to show their support for Lineker, as well as former professionals such as Ian Wright and Alan Shearer, by taking part in the show of solidarity.
Lineker was removed from his presenting duties after the BBC decided the former England international’s criticism of the government’s new asylum policy had breached their impartiality guidelines.
"I’m not native but I cannot see why you would ask someone to step back for saying that,” Klopp said following Liverpool’s defeat against Bournemouth in the opening fixture of the Premier League weekend.
“I’m not sure if it is a language issue or not but that is the world we are living in. Everybody wants to be so concerned about doing things in the right manner, saying the right stuff. If you don’t do that then you create a s***storm, it is a really difficult world to live in.
"If I understand it right, it is a message, an opinion about human rights and that should be possible to say.”
As reported by The Independent on Friday night, Premier League clubs were in debate over whether their managers and players appearing on Match of the Day would constitute a “political act” after Lineker was pulled by the BBC.
The PFA later confirmed players would not be put in the position of speaking to Match of the Day.
Neither managers nor players will be asked to speak to the BBC as part of their post-match media duties on Saturday.
Klopp added: "It is not about me now showing the BBC, it is not that the guy with the BBC mic is a bad person.
"I heard about the ‘rules’ of BBC that you are not allowed to have these opinions, it is a difficult world to live in. I can’t say more."