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Gary Lineker ends row with BBC

Gary Lineker will now return to present Match of the Day after he was taken off air for criticising the government’s new asylum policy.

BBC Director General, Tim Davie announced that, an independent review will be carried out on social media guidelines.

Lineker said he welcomed the review and is looking forward to getting back on air.

He said the last few days had been “surreal” and thanked people for their incredible support.

BBC general Manager in a statement says: “Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences.

“I apologise for this.”

Lineker compared the language used to set out the government’s asylum plan to “that used by Germany in the 1930s”.

The MOTD presenter was told last Friday to apologise for his tweets or would be unable to present Match of the Day at the weekend.

When he refused to do so, he was taken off air, and that triggered an unprecedented wave of walkouts from fellow pundits and commentators.

After announcing Lineker will return to presenting on BBC TV, Lineker tweeted: “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.”

The former England striker has hosted Match of the Day since 1999 and is the BBC’s highest paid star, having earned in the region of £1.35m in 2020/21 although he is employed by the BBC on a freelance basis.

Writing by Tersoo Nicholas