Scottish Cup coverage goes ahead after Lineker row

Falkirk FC
Falkirk will play for a place in the semi final

Full BBC Scotland coverage of Falkirk's Scottish Cup quarter-final against Ayr United went ahead following weekend sport disruption.

Programming was limited amid the row over presenter Gary Lineker, who was taken off air after tweeting about UK government migration policy.

Following talks with the BBC, the Match of the Day host will resume his role.

BBC Scotland coverage of Monday's Scottish Cup tie was broadcast on TV, radio and online.

Falkirk beat Ayr United to take a place in the semi-final where they will play Inverness CT. In the other semi-final there will be an Old Firm clash as Rangers take on Celtic.

The quarter final coverage on the BBC Scotland channel was hosted by Steven Thompson with Leanne Crichton and Richard Foster.

It was followed by the live draw for the semi-final, presented by Jane Lewis.

Over the weekend, many BBC sports programmes were hit by an impromptu boycott by presenters in support of Lineker.

Gary Lineker
Gary Lineker will resume his role as Match of the Day presenter following talks with the BBC

Sportscene was broadcast on TV with an amended format, while some Sportsound coverage on Radio Scotland was replaced with pre-recorded material.

BBC Scotland provided live Sportsound commentary of Rangers' quarter-final victory over Raith Rovers and Scotland's Six Nations clash against Ireland.

Other BBC sports programmes aired as normal, with Gabby Logan presenting TV coverage of the rugby alongside studio analysts.

Independent review

Announcing Lineker would return, BBC director general Tim Davie said an independent review would be carried out on social media guidelines.

Lineker said he backed the review and was looking forward to getting back on air.

He said the last few days had been "surreal" and thanked people for their "incredible support".

In a statement, Mr Davie said: "Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this."

Analysis box by Chris McLaughlin, Sports news correspondent
Analysis box by Chris McLaughlin, Sports news correspondent

We'll now never know what disruption would have been caused to BBC Scotland's live coverage of the Scottish Cup quarter-final at Falkirk, but given key Scottish presenters and pundits decided to stay off-air at the weekend, one could take a guess.

The speed and spread of what happened was incredible. Gary Lineker tweeted about the government's immigration policy and a few days later, BBC Scotland couldn't provide its full coverage of Scotland versus Ireland in the Six Nations, from Murrayfield.

This was clearly a crisis the BBC didn't see coming, despite many warning signs. The big question is how the corporation now future-proofs itself against similar happening again, while simultaneously safeguarding its commitment to impartiality.

That question won't be answered until after the independent inquiry. Some say that is simply kicking the can down the road. In this aspect, the BBC had little choice.

Doing what it could do get pundits and programmes back on air was the priority. Next comes the tricky part.