Latest Sports News

Gary Lineker set to return to Match Of The Day this weekend as BBC director forced to apologise

Gary Lineker will return to his Match of the Day presenting position and abide by social media guidance after impartiality row with his employers.

The former England International has been in conflict with his employer after a tweet comparing the UK government’s new asylum policy to 1930’s Germany.

Lineker was told last week that he had to apologise for his tweets or would not be able to present Match of the Day.

When he refused to apologise, he was taken off air, which triggered a wave of fellow pundits stepping away from the weekend’s shows in solidarity.

The football show aired this weekend without any hosts after the walkouts, showing highlights without any commentary or analysis. The Saturday and Sunday shows lasted just 20 and 15 minutes respectively.

After an interrupted weekend of sports coverage, BBC management found an agreement with Lineker for to return to the show he has presented for nearly three decades.

Tweeting after the resolution, Lineker claimed he was “delighted that [they] have navigated a way through this.”

The ex-Barcelona star continued, pulling the focus away from his predicament and onto the issue he had previously been shedding light on: “however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or way to seek refuge in a land far away.”

In a statement from the BBC, Director 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 the coming weekend.”

Davie emphasised that impartiality is important to the BBC, but also that that must be weighed with its commitment to freedom of expression.

“It’s 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 has said that they will be launching an independent review on its own social media guidelines, focusing predominantly on freelancers, outside news and current affairs.

Davie has made clear that whilst the review is being done, the current guidelines will still be in place.

University of Gloucestershire associate professor of media ethics and practice Tom Bradshaw saw the feud as more than just a battle between Lineker and his employer.

“We’ve seen someone with an enormous social media profile which in some sense is on par with the BBC. We’ve seen these two forces coming together and wrestling one another to give a modern day insight into just where power lies in the media in the 21st century.”

“Gary Lineker has become a symbol for all kinds of fractures in society as a whole. Not just divisions within the BBC.”

Bradshaw believes that the situation has made Lineker more than a presenter.

“He’s more than just a sports presenter, he’s a symbol and a personification of the BBC which is why I would think there has been a breach of the guidelines as they stand.”

Match of the Day will air as normal this Saturday without interruptions after the resolution. It is also expected that other programming will return to its regular cast, such as former Arsenal star Alex Scott returning to Football Focus.

Read more Park Life Sport:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *