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'I’ve been silenced' - Gary Lineker confirms he will not host Match of the Day tonight

Jack Kenmare

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'I’ve been silenced' - Gary Lineker confirms he will not host Match of the Day tonight

Gary Lineker has confirmed in a statement that he will not host Saturday night's episode of Match of the Day, with his replacement already lined up by the BBC.

The 63-year-old, who has presented the popular highlights show for more than two decades, says he has been "silenced" with a so-called "rotten cold that seems to lasting forever."

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, on Saturday afternoon, he confirmed the news.

"Some good news for some," he wrote. "I’ve been silenced….with a rotten cold that seems to be lasting forever. Hate missing hosting @BBCMOTD but I’ll be watching."

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Lineker's replacement will be Match of the Day 2 host Mark Chapman, who will raise discussion points from seven Premier League games, including Manchester City vs Everton and Liverpool vs Burnley.

Match of the Day, of course, has been a staple of English football culture since it first broadcast on the BBC in 1964.

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And one of its most popular pundits has been former Arsenal and England striker Ian Wright, who will be leaving Match of the Day at the end of the 2023/24 season.

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Back in December, Wright announced he would be stepping back from the flagship BBC show in May, having first appeared on it while still a player in 1997.

When discussing the reason behind his sudden departure, Wright said: "I'm going to actually watch more football.

"I'm going to watch my granddaughter. I'm going to watch a lot more women's games. I'm going to watch a lot more Arsenal games, just to be there with fans.

"Go with my son and his missus, be amongst it, just to celebrate when we win or lose."

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Image credit: Getty
Image credit: Getty

Wright added: "It's been a bit of a realisation that I want to give quality time to them. So that's what I want. To watch games, spend time with people."

Lineker, meanwhile, is set to continue hosting the programme until 2029 after it was confirmed that Premier League highlights will remain free-to-air for audiences on the BBC.

A four-year deal was agreed, which includes MOTD2 and Football Focus plus a 'significant increase' in the amount of digital content that can be used across BBC Sport platforms.

Featured Image Credit: Getty Images - The Rest Is Football

Topics: Gary Lineker, Match Of The Day, Premier League

Jack Kenmare
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