Gary Lineker fires again at Euro 2024 moaners who say he shouldn’t present BBC bias

BBC presenter Gary Lineker has hit back at haters critiquing his right to root for England during Euro 2024.

The footy pundit and former England ace was unapologetic in his response after being taken to task about his support for the Three Lions while on the mic. Lineker – who earned 80 appearances for his country – has been the face off the BBC’s football coverage for a quarter of a century but insists he’s a fan first and foremost.

The 63-year-old was at the broadcaster’s helm when England clinched a narrow 1-0 victory over Serbia in their first match of Euro 2024 on Sunday. But Gareth Southgate’s squad drew criticism for a lacklustre finish after initially kicking off with vigour in their first match of the competition.

READ MORE: Gary Lineker bats off criticism from TV legend Des Lynam who told him ‘stick to footy’

READ MORE: Gary Lineker takes cheeky jab at ITV at Euro 2024 as BBC star opens up on viewing figures

Leicester City icon Lineker confessed he and his fellow commentators, including Micah Richards, might have got a bit carried away during England’s early burst of energy. However, they both concurred keeping their passion under wraps would be a tall order.

“The one thing you try and get right is the tone,” he said on The Rest Is Football podcast (via the Daily Express). “And when it’s a performance like [the Serbia game], you wonder whether we got carried away by England’s performance in the first half – I don’t think we did. I think we were right [and] they played really well in the first half.

“And then you wonder whether we got the tone right at the end of the game, because we were quite critical of a lot of facets of the England game. Particularly the way they sat back in the second half – but they won. So you want to try and gauge the mood of the nation, and it’s not always easy.”

Do you agree pundits should have the freedom to show their bias? Let us know in the comments section below.

Serbia v England - EURO 2024
England had a game of two halves against Serbia

Richards, 35, hit back by reminding listeners that pundits are fans as well, eager to England’s succeed. Lineker responded: “People sometimes say, ‘You shouldn’t be biased on the BBC.’ But I never bought that with sport. I don’t get that thing. What you’ve got to do as presenters and pundits, if it’s your team – whether it’s a club or national side – it’s fine to cheer them on.”

England legend Lineker notched 48 goals in England white and is highly regarded in the field. He’s also known for being a passionate Leicester fan and has been a prominent supporter for their club during the Foxes’ success over recent years.

Co-hosts Richards and Alan Shearer – who boasts 13 and 63 England caps, respectively – may also struggle to keep their patriotic feelings in check while on air. However, one could easily argue fans should expect such support for their former team when tuning into British broadcasting.

Gary Lineker
Lineker has become synonymous with the BBC’s football coverage

Despite a somewhat disappointing start to England’s tournament, the presenting trio might opt for more restraint as England faces a sterner test against Denmark on Thursday. Three more points in Frankfurt would ensure the Three Lions of a top-two spot in Group C.

Denmark are already trailing by two points in the pool following a 1-1 draw against Slovenia in their first match. Nonetheless, Lineker and his colleagues may again struggle to mute their celebrations should England maintain a winning start on German soil.