Gary Lineker set for Match of the Day return after BBC issues apology
The BBC has announced that Gary Lineker will be returning to Match of the Day next week, following the presenter's brief removal from the show.
Last week, Lineker was asked to step back from his role by the broadcaster over an alleged breach of impartiality guidelines, following comments he made on Twitter regarding Home Secretary Suella Braverman's controversial refugee policy.
His removal from MOTD led to a collective walk-out of co-presenters and pundits, causing huge disruption to the BBC sports coverage over the weekend.
Today (March 13), the BBC issued a statement confirming the presenter's reinstatement as well as allowing an independent review to be carried over its social media guidelines.
"Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this," BBC director general Tim Davie said in the statement.
"Now we look forward with this agreement, moving forward, to resolve things and get back to business as usual."
Davie added that the review will focus on how impartiality guidelines apply to freelancers such as Lineker, who work on programmes outside of news and current affairs.
"Between now and when the review reports, Gary will abide by the editorial guidelines, that's where we are," Davie said.
"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."
He is expected to return to MOTD next weekend to host the live coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final tie on Saturday.
Following the announcement, Lineker shared the news via his Twitter account, thanking everybody for the solidarity over "a surreal few days".
"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," he added in a follow-up tweet. "It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.
"We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you."
Organisations which provide help and support to refugees include the Refugee Council and UN Refugee Agency, which also provide information on ways you can help those in need.
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