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Why Gary Lineker is not hosting Match of the Day on BBC One tonight

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This weekend marks the first time Gary Lineker will be back on BBC screens following the controversy that saw him temporarily step back as Match of the Day presenter.

Lineker, 62, was forced to step aside from his role on the broadcaster's flagship Premier League highlights programme following his comments on the government's controversial new policy on asylum seekers.

The presenter and former footballer took to Twitter to share his opinion on the matter, prompting criticism from members of the Conservative party. The BBC's decision on Lineker sparked an impartiality row which saw a number of high-profile names defend the ex-Everton striker including regular MOTD pundits Ian Wright and Alan Shearer.

READ MORE: Gary Lineker returns as BBC release statement and apology after u-turn

READ MORE: Every word of Gary Lineker's emotional 140-word statement after BBC decision

Who is presenting Match of the Day tonight?

BBC 5Live and Match of the Day 2 presenter Mark Chapman will be in the hotseat tonight as the coverage returns to BBC screens. Last week, the show was televised for just 20 minutes without commentary and analysis following the walkout from ex-footballers and commentators at the broadcaster.

Why isn't Gary Lineker presenting Match of the Day tonight?

Lineker himself will return to BBC's coverage this week where he will be presenting their coverage of the FA Cup quarter-finals. He will be at the Etihad Stadium for Manchester City's clash with Burnley.

City ran out 6-0 winners.

What did the BBC say on Match of the Day controversy?

BBC Director-General Tim Davie said on Monday: "Everyone recognises this has been a difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences. I apologise for this. The potential confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC's social media guidance that was introduced in 2020 is recognised. I want to get matters resolved and our sport content back on air.

"Impartiality is important to the BBC. It is also important to the public. The BBC has a commitment to impartiality in its Charter and a commitment to freedom of expression. That is a difficult balancing act to get right where people are subject to different contracts and on air positions, and with different audience and social media profiles. The BBC's social media guidance is designed to help manage these sometimes difficult challenges and I am aware there is a need to ensure that the guidance is up to this task. It should be clear, proportionate, and appropriate.

"Accordingly, we are announcing a review led by an independent expert - reporting to the BBC - on its existing social media guidance, with a particular focus on how it applies to freelancers outside news and current affairs. The BBC and myself are aware that Gary is in favour of such a review.

"Shortly, the BBC will announce who will conduct that review. Whilst this work is undertaken, the BBC's current social media guidance remains in place.

"Gary is a valued part of the BBC and I know how much the BBC means to Gary, and I look forward to him presenting our coverage this coming weekend."


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