Gary Lineker breaks silence after humbled BBC apologise and confirm he WILL return to MOTD | Football | Sport
Home » Matches » Gary Lineker breaks silence after humbled BBC apologise and confirm he WILL return to MOTD | Football | Sport
Gary Lineker breaks silence after humbled BBC apologise and confirm he WILL return to MOTD | Football | Sport

Gary Lineker will return to host Match of the Day after the BBC issued a humbling apology to the presenter following his suspension on Friday. The 62-year-old was taken off air by the public broadcasting service on Friday after he had compared the language used pertaining to the government's immigration policy to that of Nazi Germany in tweets earlier this week.

In a statement after the BBC apologised to Lineker, he said: “I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air.”

He later went on to expand on social media: "After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.

"I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost 3 decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.

"A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you."

The BBC faced a huge backlash from its staff as they boycotted their sports programmes over the weekend in support of Lineker and now the British broadcasting giant has apologised to former England striker Lineker in a statement.

Match of the Day aired a 20-minute highlights package with no commentary or analysis as commentators boycotted the programme, while MOTD2 was aired for just 15 minutes on Sunday. Final Score and BBC Radio 5 Live programmes were also affected as the walkout impacted the BBC on a large scale.

In an apology to Lineker, director-general of the BBC, Tim Davie, said: “Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this.

"The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air. Impartiality is important to the BBC. It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression.

"That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on air positions, and with different audience and social media profiles. The BBC’s social media guidance is designed to help manage these sometimes difficult challenges and I am aware there is a need to ensure that the guidance is up to this task. It should be clear, proportionate, and appropriate.

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“Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert – reporting to the BBC – on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs. The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review.

“Shortly, the BBC will announce who will conduct that review. Whilst this work is undertaken, the BBC’s current social media guidance remains in place.

“Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”

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