Match of the Day fans praise Alan Shearer for honest verdict on Gary Lineker and BBC row

Alan Shearer is the toast of fans up and down the country after he issued a heartfelt apology over the chaos that engulfed the BBC’s coverage of football last weekend.

The Newcastle legend was serving as a pundit for Saturday evening’s FA Cup quarter-final between Manchester City and Burnley. Presenter Gary Lineker was making his first appearance on BBC television since he was axed from coverage last week having compared the government’s policy on asylum seekers to 1930s Nazi Germany.

Lineker agreed to return to coverage after a humbling U-turn from the broadcaster, but only after a disastrous weekend which saw numerous pundits pull out of their regular weekend roles in solidarity with their colleague. Match of the Day was the highest-profile casualty of these boycotts, as the highlights show was aired with no commentary and no analysis, lasting roughly 20 underwhelming minutes.

Shearer is a regular on the BBC’s football coverage and was clearly embarrassed that fans were let down in the wake of the furore surrounding Lineker. Before any pre-match analysis of City versus Burnley could get underway in the studio at the Etihad Stadium, he went out of his way to issue a sincere apology to viewers.

“I just need to clear up and wanted to say how upset we were for the audience that missed out last weekend,” Shearer said. “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.”

match of the day fans praise alan shearer for honest verdict on gary lineker and bbc row

Gary Lineker, Alan Shearer and Micah Richards

Were you impressed by Alan Shearer’s apology? Have your say in the comments…

Lineker did not say much by way of a follow-up to Shearer’s apology, but simply agreed by stating: “Absolutely, I echo those sentiments.”

Fans were hugely impressed by Shearer saying sorry to them, and pleased to see the BBC’s coverage back in full force. On took to Twitter to write: “Well said Alan, spot on! Looking forward to the game now.”

A second supporter was delighted to see the regular contingent back in the studio, saying: “Welcome back not the same without you guys.” A third social media user confessed they do not watch much live football but tuned in especially “to celebrate good sense triumphing over prejudice”.

They wrote: “just tuned in to watch… don’t normally watch telly sport, but I thought I’d make today an exception… to celebrate good sense triumphing over prejudice… have a good one guys.” A final fan was pleased to see the friendship between Lineker and Shearer on full view, concluding: “Good mates, well said Alan Shearer”.

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