Gary Lineker signs for News of the World

Lineker seals two-year contract with News of the World after resigning in protest from Mail on Sunda

Gary Lineker has joined the News of the World as a football columnist two months after he resigned in protest from the Mail on Sunday.

Lineker left his weekly Mail on Sunday slot after the paper published details of a secretly recorded conversation with then FA chairman Lord Triesman.

The newspaper published comments made by Triesman during a private dinner where he claimed the Spanish and Russian football authorities were considering bribing referees at this summer's World Cup.

Lineker, who is an official ambassador of the 2018 World Cup bid, said at the time: "The story itself, the circumstances surrounding it and the actions of the Mail on Sunday in publishing it have undermined the bid to bring the World Cup to England in 2018.

"I wholeheartedly support the bid, because I believe that hosting the tournament would be brilliant for the country, and I am an official ambassador for it. I have therefore taken the view that I cannot continue as a columnist for the Mail on Sunday."

He starts his new weekly column this Sunday, after previously providing a column for the paper during his playing career - when he was England's star striker.

News of the World sports editor Paul McCarthy said: "We're delighted Gary has returned to his spiritual home at the News of the World.

"He was an outstanding columnist for the paper during his glittering playing career and now his position as football's most respected pundit makes him the perfect choice to lead the News of the World team into the new season."

Dominic Ponsford writes for the Press Gazette