Home Football BBC and Gary Lineker in Positive Talks After Chaotic Football Coverage

BBC and Gary Lineker in Positive Talks After Chaotic Football Coverage

BBC and Gary Lineker in Positive Talks After Chaotic Football Coverage

According to reports, the BBC and Gary Lineker are making progress in their talks about the former England international’s return to the broadcaster’s sports coverage. Over the weekend, the corporation took Lineker off air for his comments comparing the UK government’s asylum seeker policy to that of 1930s Germany. This led to chaos across the BBC’s football coverage as pundits and commentators withdrew in solidarity with Lineker. As a result, Match of the Day was aired for only 20 minutes on Saturday without accompanying commentary or analysis from presenters. Sunday’s edition of Match of the Day 2 was also reduced to 15 minutes. The Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Manchester United was aired without a pre-match presentation, and with world feed commentary used instead of regular BBC presenters. The BBC was forced to apologise for only being able to offer ‘limited programming’.

The Sun has reported that Lineker will be back for the BBC’s FA Cup coverage next weekend. However, BBC News has said that while there are “hopes of a resolution soon, not all issues are ‘fully resolved’ at this stage”.

BBC director-general Tim Davie apologised for the disruption caused to the broadcaster’s sports programming, but confirmed he will not resign over the Lineker impartiality row. Speaking to BBC News Washington on Sunday, he said: “I’m very sorry for the disruption today. It’s been a difficult day and I’m sorry that audiences have been affected and they haven’t got the programming. As a keen sports fan, I know like everyone that to miss programming is a real blow and I am sorry about that. We are working very hard to resolve the situation and make sure that we get output back on air.”

Davie added: “I would say Gary Lineker is a superb broadcaster. He’s the best in the business, that’s not for debate. To be clear, success for me is: Gary gets back on air and together we are giving to the audiences that world-class sports coverage which, as I say, I’m sorry we haven’t been able to deliver today.”

TalkSPORT offered fans Premier League coverage on Sunday night with a change to its schedule at 10:30pm to bring viewers ‘Game of the Day’. The channel dissected, analysed and comprehensively covered every single Premier League game. In case a deal isn’t agreed between Lineker and the BBC, TalkSPORT has offered Alan Brazil’s services as MOTD presenter.

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