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Mark Chapman makes cheeky comment on Gary Lineker’s MOTD absence

Mark Chapman drew laughs from both Dion Dublin and Ashley Williams in the Match of the Day studio when he made light of him taking Gary Lineker’s usual presenting spot on Saturday. Lineker was embroiled in a high-profile row sparked by comments he made last week on the Government’s asylum policy, likening it to 1930s Germany.

His remark led to the England international being stood down by the BBC for last week’s Match of the Day. But their decision saw a huge backlash from his fellow pundits and commentators, who walked out on the BBC to show “solidarity” with Lineker.

Following talks, the BBC announced on Monday that Lineker had been reinstated as presenter of Match of the Day with Tim Davie apologising for the “confusion caused by the grey areas of the BBC’s social media guidance”. But Lineker was not in his usual seat for Match of the Day on Saturday as he was already booked in to host the BBC’s coverage of Manchester City’s FA Cup quarter-final against Burnley.

With the match taking place late on Saturday, Lineker wouldn’t have had the opportunity to make it back to host Match of the Day as well. It was confirmed that Chapman, who has been the main host of Match of the Day 2 since 2013, would take Lineker’s place.

And the 49-year-old wanted to avoid any confusion for those unaware on why he was hosting Saturday’s edition of Match of the Day instead of Lineker. “Before you ask I was booked for this weeks ago,” he said during his opening monologue.


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