Former football star Gary Lineker will return to present his famous program “Match of the Day” on the British Broadcasting Corporation “BBC”, as the latter announced on Monday, after his comparison of the British government’s new plan on illegal immigration with Nazi Germany’s speech sparked controversy in recent days and commented activity on Friday.
BBC managing director Tim Davie said: “Lineker is an added value at the BBC and I know exactly how much this broadcast means to him and I look forward to seeing him present our coverage this weekend.”
Lineker said on his Twitter account: “I’m looking forward to sitting in the (Match of the Day) chair on Saturday.”
“Despite the difficult days in recent days, it simply cannot be compared to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a faraway land,” he added.
The row was sparked by Lineker’s response to a video in which Interior Minister Suela Braverman revealed plans to end illegal Channel crossings, which was strongly condemned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
“There is no massive influx. We receive much less refugees than other major European countries,” the former Barcelona player said on Twitter.
“This is just an immeasurably harsh policy directed against the most vulnerable people with language not unlike that used by Germany in the 1930s, and (they say) I overstepped my bounds?”
The BBC said on Friday it considered Lineker’s “recent social media activity to be a breach of our guidelines”, adding that he should avoid taking sides on political issues and announcing his suspension.
Lineker, the former Tottenham and Leicester City striker, is the highest-paid presenter at the publicly funded BBC, with an annual salary of £1.35m ($1.60m), according to figures published last year.
Follow our latest local and sports news and the latest political and economic developments via Google news