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Gary Lineker Reinstated as Match of the Day Host



Lineker’s Suspension

Match of the Day fans rejoiced earlier this week when it confirmed by BBC bosses that Gary Lineker was being reinstated as the show’s host. Last week, the former England, Leicester City, Everton, Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur striker was taken off air over comments he made on Twitter about the Government’s controversial asylum seeker policy.

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On the social media platform, Lineker compared some of the language used by the Conservatives to that used in Nazi Germany during the 1930s. This led to the BBC taking the decision to have the 62-year-old “step back” from his presenting duties over his tweets which were said to breach the broadcaster’s impartiality guidelines.

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Chaos within the BBC’s Weekend Football Coverage

However, his suspension led to chaos within the BBC’s weekend football coverage as other pundits and commentators including Alan Shearer and Ian Wright pulled out of the shows in a show of solidarity to Lineker. It meant Football Focus and Final Score did not air while Match of the Day and Match of the Day 2 were reduced to 20 and 15 minute clip shows with no commentary respectively.

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Lineker’s Return

On Monday, it was confirmed by the BBC that Lineker would return to hosting duties this weekend, with director-general Tim Davie saying the corporation would hold an independent review into its social media guidelines. However, fans hoping to see Lineker on the iconic football highlights show tonight (March 18) are set to be disappointed as he will not be hosting the show.

Lineker to Front BBC’s Coverage of FA Cup

Instead of his regular hosting job, Lineker will be fronting the BBC’s coverage of the FA Cup Sixth Round clash between Premier League giants Manchester City and Championship leaders Burnley. The game will mark the return of former City captain Vincent Kompany, who is Burnley’s manager, to the Etihad Stadium.

Coverage of the FA Cup match will air on BBC One at 5.25pm. Joining Lineker at the Etihad will be Shearer and former City star Micah Richards.

Lineker will also host the BBC’s live FA Cup coverage of Brighton and Hove Albion versus Grimsby Town tomorrow (March 19), where he will be joined by Shearer and former Seagulls striker Glenn Murray. The coverage begins at 1.50pm.

Mark Chapman to Host Tonight’s Show

Mark Chapman, who was among the BBC stars who pulled out of work last weekend, will step into the host’s chair tonight. He usually presents Match of the Day 2 on Sundays, which will be hosted by Jason Mohammad tomorrow.

Tonight’s show will focus on today’s five Premier League clashes, including Chelsea v Everton and Aston Villa v Bournemouth. It will also feature highlights from Newcastle United’s 2-1 win over Nottingham Forest.



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