Gary Lineker will return to presenting sport on the BBC, having been taken off air for criticising the UK government’s policy on asylum seekers.
Lineker compared home secretary Suella Braverman’s use of language to words akin to “Germany in the 30s”, which prompted widespread backlash.
But the BBC’s decision to suspend Lineker led to a mass boycott from presenters, pundits and commentators, which created chaos across the organisation’s sport programming at the weekend.
Director General Tim 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.”
And Lineker added: “I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air.”
Davie also said sorry for the lack of of sports coverage on the BBC over the weekend.
“Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this,” he said.
The statement added that Davie recognises the “potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance” that was introduced in 2020, and stressed he wants to “get matters resolved and our sport content back on air”.
Taking to Twitter, Lineker shared his thoughts on what he described as a “surreal few days.”
“After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this,” he tweeted. “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.”
He added: “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.
“We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you.”
More to follow…
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