Who is presenting Match of the Day tonight?

Lineker’s suspension had prompted other presenters to walk out  (BBC/Pete Dadds)
Lineker’s suspension had prompted other presenters to walk out (BBC/Pete Dadds)

Mark Chapman, usually the presenter of 5 live Sport, will be presenting Match of the Day this Saturday night.

Many viewers had expected to see Gary Lineker return to his usual position leading the football match highlights programme this Saturday.

The BBC has worked to mend bridges with the presenter, after the row over his criticism of the government’s new policy on asylum seekers. On Monday the BBC hastily reversed its decision to suspend Lineker, after a storm of criticism.

However, Lineker will not be appearing to present Match of the Day on Saturday night for reasons unrelated to his dispute with the BBC’s bosses.

Lineker is instead scheduled to provide commentary for BBC’s Match of the Day Live FA Cup coverage of Saturday’s quarter-final clash between Manchester City and Burnley. This arrangement had been made before the row.

Lineker has been reinstated without making an apology for his tweet comparing the language used by Conservative government for its small boats policy to the language used in 1930s Germany.

After criticism by many Conservative figures Lineker was suspended by the BBC on the grounds that he had breached its impartiality policy.

However, the move prompted many other presenters and pundits to walk out in solidarity with Lineker sparking a crisis at the BBC.

Mr Chapman was among those who pulled out of his presenting duties in protest at Lineker’s treatment.

The BBC’s director general, Tim Davie, apologised for the “difficult period for staff, contributors, presenters and, most importantly, our audiences.”

However, Mr Davie denied the move represented a climbdown. He defended his actions saying that he did “the right thing” in asking Lineker to step back that Lineker will “abide by the editorial guidelines” until an independent review of the BBC’s social media policy is completed.