Gary Lineker set to return to BBC after broadcaster offers apology

Gary Lineker will return to BBC after broadcaster set to apologize


Gary Lineker set to return to BBC after broadcaster offers apology

Gary Lineker will return to hosting sports for the BBC this weekend after receiving an apology from the corporation. Lineker “stepped back” from his presenting duties on Friday. The BBC said it considered Lineker’s “recent social media activity to be a breach of (our) guidelines.” The statement added that he should “keep well away from taking sides on party political issues or political controversies”.

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Lineker was taken off after he criticized the UK’s asylum policy via Twitter. Commenting on a video message by the Home Secretary, Suella Braverman, about stopping migrants crossing the Channel in small boats, he said the message was “beyond awful” and called the government’s policy “an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in a language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s”.

Co-presenters Ian Wright and Alan Shearer announced they would not appear on the next broadcast out of solidarity with Lineker along with many pundits who all pulled out of their respective roles in BBC programs in the next hours. As a result, the broadcaster was forced to reduce their sports-related schedule for March 11 and March 12 with Match of the Day going ahead without any hosts or studio presentation, thus featuring only match footage.

Tim Davie, the director general of the BBC, apologized on Monday for the widespread disruption to sports programming over the weekend and announced an independent review of the corporation’s internal social media guidelines. In a statement, Mr. Davie said: “Everyone recognizes this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters, and most importantly, our audiences. “I apologize for this.”

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Related News: “No better than China and North Korea,” Piers Morgan slams free speech in UK over Gary Lineker controversy

A look at Gary Lineker’s career in his playing days

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Gary Lineker for FC Barcelona (credit: Twitter)

Gary Lineker is widely regarded as one of the finest strikers to ever play the game. Lineker began his football career at Leicester City in 1978 and finished as the First Division’s joint top goalscorer in 1984–85. He then moved to league champions Everton where he won both the PFA Players’ Player of the Year and FWA Footballer of the Year awards in his debut season, before moving to Spanish giants Barcelona. With Barcelona, he won the 1987–88 Copa del Rey and the 1989 European Cup Winners’ Cup. He joined Tottenham Hotspur in 1989, and won his second FWA Footballer of the Year and won the FA Cup, his first and only major trophy in English football. Lineker’s final club was Nagoya Grampus Eight; he retired in 1994 after two seasons at the Japanese side.

Lineker made his England debut in 1984, earning 80 caps and scoring 48 goals over an eight-year international career. He is England’s fourth-highest scorer, behind Harry Kane, Wayne Rooney and Bobby Charlton, and his international goals-to-games ratio remains one of the best for the country. His six goals in the 1986 FIFA World Cup made him the tournament’s top scorer, receiving the Golden Boot. Lineker was again integral to England’s progress to the semi-finals of the 1990 World Cup, scoring another four goals. He still holds England’s record for goals in the FIFA World Cup.

Lineker is also the only player to have been the top scorer in England with three clubs: Leicester City, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur. Notably, he never received a yellow or red card during his 16-year career. As a result, he was honored in 1990 with the FIFA Fair Play Award.

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