Match of the Day commentators join pundit boycott after Gary Lineker stood down

Six leading Match of the Day commentators have added to the growing boycott of Saturday’s programme after Gary Lineker was stood down by the BBC.

A joint statement from the group, which includes regular commentators such as Steve Wilson and Conor McNamara, said the commentators had decided to step down from the broadcast “it would not be appropriate to take part in the programme”.

It added to the revolt that has followed the BBC’s decision to pull Lineker from his presenting duties after ruling the former England international’s criticism of the government’s asylum policy had breached their impartiality guidelines.

Ian Wright and Alan Shearer have announced they will not appear on Match of the Day as planned out of solidarity, while Micah Richards, Jermaine Jenas and Alex Scott also ruled themselves out of appearing on the show.

It has forced Match of the Day to take the unprecedented step to announce the programme will “focus on match action without studio presentation or punditry” - but the match highlights are now at risk of not having any commentary either.

More follows