Britain’s BBC reinstated its highest-paid presenter Gary Lineker on Monday, after its suspension of the former England football captain for criticizing the state’s immigration policy sparked a public backlash and near mutiny against the public broadcaster.

Embarrassingly for the BBC, it had to ax core sports coverage after presenters, pundits and commentators refused to work, in solidarity with Lineker.

Some employees, opposition politicians and commentators accused the company, which is mandated to be neutral, of bowing to government pressure, prompting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak to call for a swift resolution to the situation.

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The affair also renewed questions about the credibility of BBC chairman Richard Sharp. He failed to explain facilitating a loan for former prime minister Boris Johnson shortly before he was appointed to the role by the government.

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The 62-year-old Lineker, a prolific striker who won the Golden Boot with England at the 1986 World Cup, is expected to return on Saturday for the flagship Premier League highlights show ‘Match Of The Day’, which he has hosted since 1999.

“I have presented sport on the BBC for almost three decades and am immensely proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world,” he tweeted before returning to the subject of immigration.

“As difficult as the last few days have been, it just doesn’t compare to having to flee persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away.”

The publicly funded BBC suspended him for breaching impartiality rules by comparing Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s rhetoric to the language used in 1930s Germany.

Braverman has described the arrival of thousands of asylum seekers on small boats as an “invasion” and said that without a change in the law, 100 million people could be eligible to enter.

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Lineker has previously hosted refugees in his home and co-founded a podcast production company whose programs include the popular “The Rest is Politics”. He had called the new government’s hard-line policy on boats “extremely cruel.”

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The uproar came as the broadcaster tries to navigate an increasingly polarized debate in Britain on everything from trans rights to immigration and colonial history.

A senior BBC News staffer said Lineker’s tweets had undoubtedly undermined its attempts to remain impartial, but said most anger within the company was directed at the chairman.

“Everyone suspects, although we cannot know for sure, that if Lineker had tweeted support for the government’s migrant policy, he would not have been suspended,” the employee told Reuters, asking to remain anonymous.

The BBC said it would now review how freelancers like Lineker, in areas outside news, can use social media.

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Sunak’s spokesperson welcomed the resolution.

The BBC’s board, led by chairman Sharp, welcomed the deal and described impartiality as a “cornerstone” for the BBC.

Keir Starmer, the leader of the opposition Labor Party, said Sharp’s position was becoming increasingly untenable.

Tim Davie became the BBC’s director-general in 2020, pledging to uphold the company’s impartiality, one of the principles used to justify the £159 ($192) a year license fee levied on every TV-watching household.

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He said in a BBC interview on Monday that the suspension had been appropriate and that the presenter had agreed to stick to current editorial guidelines until a new policy was drawn up.

But in a statement announcing the deal with Lineker, he acknowledged “potential confusion caused by the gray areas” in those guidelines and welcomed him back.

“I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I’m looking forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend,” he said.

Lineker was supportive, saying that Davie had “an almost impossible job to keep everyone happy, especially in terms of impartiality.”