Gary Lineker has confirmed why he pulled out of this weekend's episode of Match Of The Day after issuing a statement to fans.

For more than 20 years, the former England international player has hosted the programme and remains one of the most recognisable faces in sports broadcasting.

Mark Chapman, who hosts Match Of The Day 2, replaced Lineker on Saturday night and took on the job of interviewing guests, reviewing highlights and more.

Gary Lineker explains why he pulled out of Match Of The Day

Discussing his Match Of The Day absence on X, formally known as Twitter, he said: "Some good news for some: I’ve been silenced….with a rotten cold that seems to be lasting forever. Hate missing hosting @BBCMOTD but I’ll be watching."

The episode, which aired at around 10:30pm on BBC One and BBC iPlayer, covered several Premier League matches involving teams like Manchester City, Liverpool and Tottenham.

This comes after Gary Lineker was temporarily taken off the air after 'breaching' impartiality guidelines set out by the broadcaster.

At the time, the star criticised the government's asylum policy, responding to a video by Home Secretary Suella Braverman to say: “Good heavens, this is beyond awful."

He added in another message: “This is just an immeasurably cruel policy directed at the most vulnerable people in language that is not dissimilar to that used by Germany in the 30s, and I’m out of order?”

After backlash from colleagues and high-profile public figures from across the country, Lineker was fully reinstated and continues to present MOTD.

When asked about what his future plans are, he said: "I don't know. I've still got almost two years left on my contract. So it's too early to contemplate that at the moment.

"But I mean I love doing Match of the Day, but, you know, obviously what happens with... football rights and things like that, will determine things and you know, things change."