Alan Shearer has spoken of Gary Lineker's "difficult" absence from Match of the Day following the presenter's return to the show.


Lineker was temporarily removed from the BBC show earlier this month after being accused of breaching BBC impartiality guidelines with a tweet criticising Home Secretary Suella Braverman's new immigration policy.

On Monday however, BBC director-general Tim Davie apologised for the "difficult period" and re-instated Lineker, explaining that the dispute had been resolved. He also outlined that a review of the BBC's existing social media guidance would be carried out by an independent expert.

During Lineker's coverage of the FA Cup quarter-final last night, Shearer – who had refused to appear on Match of the Day in his absence – addressed the controversy.

"I just need to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were that all the audiences who missed out on last weekend," he said.

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"It was a really difficult situation for everyone concerned and through no fault of their own, some really great people in TV and in radio were put in an impossible situation and that wasn’t fair.

"So it’s good to get back to some sort of normality and be talking about football again."

Lineker added: "Absolutely, I echo those sentiments."

Ahead of last night's show, Lineker posted a photograph of Shearer and co-host Micah Richards in the studio with the caption, "Teammates", before tweeting: "Ah the joys of being allowed to stick to football."

Later in the evening, the Match of the Day highlights show was hosted by Mark Chapman, who began the show by highlighting that he had "been booked weeks ago".

Lineker confirmed he had been re-instated on Monday, taking to Twitter to thank his followers and colleagues for their support, and reiterated his pride at working for the "best and fairest broadcaster in the world".

He added: "A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.

"We remain a country of predominantly tolerant, welcoming and generous people. Thank you."

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