Gary Lineker has revealed he has been hit with a “nasty cold” after he pulled out of presenting BBC’s coverage of Brighton’s FA Cup quarter-final tie against Grimsby.
The broadcaster confirmed the news on Sunday morning that Lineker, 62, would be replaced by Alex Scott at the AMEX Stadium. A short update read: “Due to illness, we’ve got a line-up change for today’s live FA Cup coverage of Brighton v Grimsby on BBC One.
“As viewers will have noticed yesterday, Gary Lineker was struggling with his voice and unfortunately it has deteriorated overnight. Alex Scott will be hosting instead.”
Lineker, who was struggling with his voice while working for the BBC during their coverage of Manchester City’s win over Burnley, will now sit out of presenting on Sunday. In the meantime, the former England ace did issue a brief update to fans on social media about his condition.
He tweeted: “I’ve been silenced…. literally, by a nasty cold so, annoyingly, won’t be working at @OfficialBHAFC this afternoon.”
Scott will now present Brighton’s tie against League Two minnows Grimsby, with Alan Shearer and Glenn Murray working as the two pundits. The coverage of the game will start at 1:50pm, with the game set to get underway at 2:15pm on the south coast as the Mariners aim to create more FA Cup history.
Meanwhile, Lineker returned to the BBC on Saturday for the first time since he was axed for his comments about the government’s bill on illegal migrants. The ex-Leicester and Tottenham striker was taken off air for last weekend’s version of Match of the Day, with Shearer and Ian Wright pulling out from working in the process.
It caused MOTD to be aired without commentators, too, as the programme was shown live for just 20 minutes. However, the matter between Lineker and the BBC was ended on Monday as the two came to an agreement. In a statement on social media, Lineker opened up about returning to work.
He tweeted: “After a surreal few days, I’m delighted that we have navigated a way through this. I want to thank you all for the incredible support, particularly my colleagues at BBC Sport, for the remarkable show of solidarity. Football is a team game but their backing was overwhelming.
“I have been presenting sport on the BBC for almost three decades and am immeasurably proud to work with the best and fairest broadcaster in the world. I cannot wait to get back in the MOTD chair on Saturday.
“A final thought: however difficult the last few days have been, it simply doesn’t compare to having to flee your home from persecution or war to seek refuge in a land far away. It’s heartwarming to have seen the empathy towards their plight from so many of you.”
After a chaotic week between Lineker and the company, the former striker was back on the BBC screens as City took on Vincent Kompany’s Burnley at the Etihad Stadium. Erling Haaland struck a hat-trick for Pep Guardiola’s side, while Julian Alvarez’s brace and a Cole Palmer strike sealed an emphatic 6-0 victory.