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BBC and Gary Lineker reach resolution, allowing him to return as Match of the Day host

The BBC has reached a resolution with Gary Lineker, allowing him to return as Match of the Day host next weekend, according to The Telegraph. The decision comes after the corporation reviewed its guidelines on the use of social media, which were deemed unclear in the wake of the controversy.

In return, Lineker has reportedly agreed to be more careful about the content of his tweets and may issue some form of apology. The announcement of the resolution is expected to be made on today (March 13).

Lineker is expected to return to screens for Saturday’s Match of the Day Live: FA Cup coverage. However, Tim Davie, the director-general, may face criticism over the BBC’s commitment to impartiality and whether it can justify being funded by the licence fee.

A former Cabinet minister, David Jones, has criticized Davie, stating that he does not have the authority to deal with Lineker robustly. However, an insider stated that both sides were close to a resolution, with things going in the right direction.

The row broke out last week when Lineker tweeted about Suella Braverman’s plans to stop migrants crossing the Channel. The BBC initially took a firm approach, stating that Lineker had clearly breached the guidelines and would be removed from Match of the Day until further notice.

However, the corporation was forced to row back after its sports coverage collapsed over the weekend, with presenters and commentators refusing to go on air in solidarity with Lineker. The majority of the public sided with Lineker, while the Prime Minister urged that the issue be resolved “in a timely fashion”.

Mr Davie spent the weekend in intensive negotiations, flying back from Washington DC to strike a deal with Lineker and his representatives. It was notable that Lineker stayed silent on social media over the weekend.

Andrew Castle, the sports presenter, told LBC listeners that Lineker had privately conceded that his language was over the top. Tory MPs raised concerns that any resolution could call into question the BBC’s impartiality. However, polling over the weekend showed that the majority of the public sided with Lineker.

A review is expected to look again at whether sports and entertainment presenters should be held to the same standards as journalists working in BBC News. The BBC will hold staff sessions on Monday to address concerns.