Gary Lineker will be allowed back on BBC after impartiality storm
Gary Lineker will resume his duties on the BBC’s flagship soccer show after an impartiality storm over his criticism of the government’s asylum policy that plunged Britain’s public broadcaster into scheduling chaos over the weekend.
In a statement on Monday, the BBC’s Director General Tim Davie said he recognized it had been a “difficult period for staff” but that he was looking forward to Lineker’s reinstatement.
He also announced a review of the BBC’s social media guidance would be led by an independent expert, acknowledging the existing guidance had caused “potential confusion.”
“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,” the statement read.
Lineker, a former professional soccer player who has presented “Match of the Day” for almost 25 years, was suspended by the BBC on Friday, following controversy surrounding a tweet he wrote criticizing the UK government’s new asylum-seeker policy.
Since the suspension was announced, the BBC has faced a boycott from pundits, presenters and even players of its flagship soccer show, while other soccer programs – Football Focus and Final Score – and some radio programming were forced off-air over the weekend as a result of the furore.
Lineker issued a statement via the BBC Monday, saying: “I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air.”