BBC commentator explains decision to work during Gary Lineker row
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BBC commentator Alistair Bruce Ball has explained the difficult decision to continue working during the Gary Lineker row.
Last week, former England striker Lineker faced criticism over his tweets regarding the government’s latest asylum policy.
As a result, the BBC confirmed on Friday that Lineker will step back from presenting Match of the Day.
The decision plunged Match of the Day into turmoil as a host of presenters, pundits and commentators pulled out of the programme.
Bruce-Ball returned to work for the BBC on Sunday and covered Arsenal’s 3-0 win over Fulham.
The commentator has now explained his decision, as per The Mirror, he said: “I want to reiterate what we said ahead of our football coverage yesterday.
“I know you’ll all appreciate this is a difficult time for BBC Sport and for all those who work in the department and we hope it all gets resolved as soon as possible.
“It’s been a very difficult decision to make personally, I can assure you it’s not been taken lightly, but I’m a BBC staff member, I’m a radio commentator for this station and just like yesterday we are here to provide our football service to you, our audience.”
After a weekend of uncertainty, it was announced on Monday morning that Lineker will return to Match of the Day.
In a statement, BBC director general Tim Davie said: “Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend.”
Whilst Lineker added: “I am glad that we have found a way forward. I support this review and look forward to getting back on air.”
After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming. 1/4— Gary Lineker 💙💛 (@GaryLineker) March 13, 2023
On his Twitter, Lineker wrote: “After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.
“I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost 3 decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.”