apology | 

Alan Shearer makes on-air statement on behalf of Gary Lineker after BBC crisis

Shearer apologises to viewers after major crisis for the network following Lineker’s suspension.

Gary Lineker back in his role as Match of the Day host (Twitter @GaryLineker)

Kevin PalmerSunday World

Gary Lineker made his return to the BBC TV screens on Saturday night and left it to Alan Shearer to make a statement about the storm created by the presenter’s suspension last week.

Lineker was asked to ‘step back’ from his role as Match of the Day host after tweeting his opposition to the UK government’s immigration policy.

After comparing the language used to describe plans to rapidly remove immigrants to arrive in the UK to “something like Germany in the 1930s”, BBC chiefs came under huge political pressure to suspend Lineker.

They buckled under that pressure, yet Lineker’s suspension was quickly followed by a boycott of all BBC Sport soccer staff as the network’s coverage on TV and radio collapsed last weekend.

The BBC opted to allow Lineker to return in a bid to halt the crisis and as the former England captain returned to his role, Shearer took the lead to make an on-air statement.

"I just need to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were for the audience that missed out last weekend,” said Shearer, who was one of the pundits who refused to work last weekend in a show of solidarity with Lineker.

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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 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, who was struggling badly with a sore throat as he returned to air, added: "Absolutely, I echo those sentiments."

The BBC have confirmed they are reviewing their social media policy for all staff and will update their guidelines after an internal review.

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