“Ah the joys of being able to stick to football”. Gary Lineker’s words are subtle but enlightening. Ex-footballer Gary Lineker returned to the BBC on Saturday to comment on the FA Cup match between Manchester City and Burnley (D2), eight days after his suspension for tweets critical of the British government .
Lineker had been fired after expressing his opposition to the government’s policy on immigration, the chain’s management believing that he was bound by a strict duty of neutrality, like all its journalists. But the sanction had provoked an outcry and a vast movement of protest from journalists, commentators and consultants on the British public channel who had refused to go on the air last weekend.
On Monday, the BBC announced the reinstatement of its star presenter, who is notably at the head of the very popular program “Match of the Day”, even if he will not be on the set this week, due to his displacement in Manchester.
New BBC guidelines for social media
The BBC has pledged to review its guidelines for the use of social media by its employees. Lineker resumed with a preview of the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Championship leaders Burnley. The BBC’s highest-paid presenter, Lineker opened the show with a ‘great to be here’, joined by fellow former star Alan Shearer, who was among the speakers who refused to work in support Lineker.
“I just want to clear things up and say how disappointed we were for all the viewers who missed” their shows last weekend, he explained. “It was a difficult situation for everyone involved and, through no fault of our own, some very good people on TV and radio were put in an impossible and unfair situation,” he added. . “It’s good to get back to some form of normalcy and talk about football again,” he concluded.