Gary Lineker returns to BBC after impartiality row

Former footballer will host coverage of the FA cup quarter-final

Gary Lineker will return to TV screens to present live coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley on Saturday.
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Gary Lineker is set to return to the BBC's screens for live coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley on Saturday.

Lineker expressed his delight in his return, tweeting that he was “immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world”.

He also mentioned that he had been presenting sport on the BBC for nearly three decades and was looking forward to his return.

Lineker, 62, will be back to host live BBC coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final, alongside analysts Alan Shearer and Micah Richards. Mark Chapman is due to present the Match of the Day highlights show later on Saturday night.

It’s understood that Lineker's absence from presenting Match of the Day is due to scheduling rather than the row that ended up in his suspension.

Lineker was asked to step back from hosting the show following a tweet in which he

compared the government's asylum policy to 1930s Nazi Germany.

The decision prompted many of his BBC Sport colleagues to walk out in solidarity, resulting in highlight shows without commentary or analysis.

BBC director general Tim Davie released a statement apologising for the “difficult period” experienced by staff, contributors, presenters and audiences. He also announced an independent review of the BBC's social media guidelines, particularly for freelancers.

Mr Davie acknowledged the potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC's social media guidance introduced in 2020, and said that he wants to get the matter resolved and sport content back on air.

Updated: March 18, 2023, 1:24 PM