“It’s good to be here”

Gary Lineker returns to BBC football

Gary Lineker returns to BBC football

Gary Lineker returns to BBC football

Gary Lineker has returned to the live presentation of the BBC‘s football coverage after a dispute over impartiality.

Experts joined the broadcaster Alan Scherer And Micah Richards Covering Saturday’s FA Cup Quarter Final between Manchester City and Burnley.

Gary was told to step down from hosting the Match Of The Day last week over a tweet criticizing a new government migration policy.

It sparked a mass strike by other stars on BBC Sport, meaning Football Focus was scrapped and Match Of The Day aired for just 20 minutes with no commentary or pundits.

Returning to the air after being reinstated earlier this week, Gary said it was “good to be here”.

Alan Shearer – who said he sat out the MOTD last Saturday in solidarity with Gary – described last weekend as “really difficult”.

“I just need to clarify and want to say how upset we were with all the viewers who missed last weekend,” he said.

“It was a really difficult situation for everyone involved – and through no fault of their own, some really great people on TV and radio were put in an impossible situation and it wasn’t fair.

“So it’s good to get back to some kind of normality and talk about football again.”

Gary then said, “Absolutely, (I) repeat (those) feelings.”

Before going on air, Gary posted a photo of himself at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester and told his Twitter followers: “Ah, the joys of sticking with football.”

He also shared a picture of himself, Alan and Micah in the studio and wrote, “Teammates.”

Later in the evening, broadcaster Mark Chapman hosted the MOTD highlights show as Gary moderated coverage of the FA Cup Quarter-Finals.

Gary’s return came after a row over the moderator’s reaction on Twitter to a Home Office video – in which Home Secretary Suella Braverman revealed the government’s plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel on small boats – and said the language used was “not unlike that of Germany in the 1930s”.

He has been criticized by Tory party members, including the Home Secretary, while a spokesman for Rishi Sunak also said: “It is obviously disappointing to see someone whose salary is being funded by hard-working British (royalty) payers who are paying these Kind of using rhetoric and seeming to dismiss their legitimate concerns they have regarding small boat crossings and illegal migration.”

After criticizing the BBC’s decision to let Gary step down from last weekend’s Match Of The Day, general manager Tim Davie said there would be an independent review of the company’s social media policies in light of the controversy.

“I want to settle the matter and get our sports content back on the air,” he said Monday, confirming Gary’s return.

Davie warned employees about their use of social media when he took on the role in late 2020 and the social media use policy was updated.

Company staff have been told they must follow editorial guidelines and oversight in the same way as when creating official BBC content.

However, he has said the new review of his guidance will focus on “how it applies to freelancers outside of news and current affairs,” like Gary.


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