The BBC’s suspension of Gary Lineker has ended. As the public broadcaster announced, the ex-English national player will return to the screen. “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 over the coming weekend,” said BBC Director General Tim Davie.
He announced an independent investigation into social media regulations. Lineker was satisfied. He is happy to return to the air, said the 62-year-old. Lineker tweeted last Tuesday that the rhetoric of Britain’s Conservative government was “not unlike that of Germany in the 1930s.”
The BBC saw this as a violation of its strict rules of neutrality and suspended the popular moderator. As a result, several moderators and commentators refused to work on their part, in the flagship show “Match of the Day”, otherwise directed by Lineker, only game scenes were shown without comment. Critics accused the BBC of bowing to government pressure.
It’s about finding the right balance between freedom of the press and neutrality, says Davie
The political parties, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, numerous sports stars and even Jurgen Klopp are involved in the controversy surrounding Lineker’s criticism of Britain’s asylum policy. “While I’m not a local, I don’t see any reason why anyone should be suspended for making that statement,” the Liverpool manager explained.
Davie apologized for the limited football coverage. “It was a difficult day and I’m sorry that the audience was affected and didn’t get their program. As a true sports fan I know it’s a blow and I’m sorry,” said Davie.
However, Davie did not want to apologize for Lineker’s suspension. It’s about finding the right balance between freedom of the press and neutrality, said the BBC boss responsible for editorial content. The former conservative politician emphasized that it is not about political directions. He ruled out resignation.