Gary Lineker is to step back from presenting Match of the Day until an agreement is reached on his social media use, the BBC has said.
It follows an impartiality row over comments he made criticising the government’s new asylum policy.
The BBC said it considered Lineker’s “recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines”.
It added he should “keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies”.
The BBC said it had been in “extensive discussions with Gary and team in recent days” and “has decided that he will step back from presenting Match of the Day until we’ve got an agreed and clear position on his use of social media”.
It continued: “When it comes to leading our football and sports coverage, Gary is second to none.
“We have never said that Gary should be an opinion free zone, or that he can’t have a view on issues that matter to him, but we have said that he should keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies.”
On Tuesday, Home Secretary Suella Braverman outlined the government’s plans to ban people arriving in the UK illegally from ever claiming asylum, in a bid to address a rise in the number of people crossing the Channel in small boats.
Lineker reacted to it on Twitter calling it an “immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.
Ms Braverman hit out at Lineker’s tweet, saying it “diminishes the unspeakable tragedy” of the Holocaust.
Speaking on the BBC’s Political Thinking podcast, the home secretary said the Nazi comparison was “lazy and unhelpful” and said her family “feel very keenly the impact of the Holocaust” as her husband is Jewish.
Many opposition MPs and charities also strongly objected to the government’s plans.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak defended the proposals saying stopping the arrival of small boats is a “priority” for the British people.
Lineker has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 and is the BBC’s highest paid star, having earned about £1.35m in 2020-21.
He is employed by the BBC on a freelance basis.
The ex-footballer has previously housed asylum seekers and publicly called for better rights and protections for refugees. He has also been critical of successive Conservative governments over issues including Brexit.
His comments have attracted widespread support on social media, with one tweet getting 235,000 likes.