Gary Lineker returns to present BBC coverage of the FA Cup after the impartiality row

It will be the 62-year-old broadcaster’s first appearance on the BBC since he was told to step down from hosting the Match Of The Day due to impartiality.

Lineker was taken off the air last week for a tweet that compared the language used to launch a new government asylum-seekers policy to 1930s Germany.

He will present live BBC coverage with analysis from Alan Shearer and Micah Richards on Saturday afternoon, while Mark Chapman will host the highlights show Match Of The Day later on Saturday night.

Many of Lineker’s BBC Sport peers went out in “Solidarity” last weekend, with highlight shows that were noticeably shorter than usual and aired with no presentation or commentary.

Match Of The Day only aired for 20 minutes last Saturday, with no accompanying commentary or analysis from presenters, with Sunday’s edition following a similar format and lasting just 15 minutes.

BBC director-general Tim Davie said in a statement the company had commissioned an independent review of its social media policies, particularly for freelancers.

Mr Davie apologized for what he conceded was “a difficult time for staff, contributors, presenters and most importantly our audience” and described the BBC’s commitment to freedom of expression and impartiality as a “difficult balancing act”.

He added: “The potential confusion caused by the gray areas of the BBC’s social media guidelines, introduced in 2020, is recognised. I want to clear things up and get our sports content back on the air.”

Following the release of the official BBC statement, Lineker tweeted that he was “delighted” to have found his way through the series after “a surreal few days”.

He added: “I have been presenting sport for the BBC for almost three decades and I am immensely proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I can’t wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.” Gary Lineker returns to present BBC coverage of the FA Cup after the impartiality row

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