Sky Sports television was under pressure on Sunday night to discipline its top football presenting team, Richard Keys and Andy Gray, after they were recorded making sexist remarks about two female match officials and a leading female football executive.
Keys and Gray were recorded during transmission of Saturday's English Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Liverpool complaining that the assistant referee, Sian Massey, probably didn't know the offside rule and that someone "f**k*d up big" by appointing a female match official. "The game's gone mad," said Keys, the channel's football anchor. The recording was not broadcast, but was passed to a tabloid newspaper by an anonymous source.
Massey, 25, was running the line in a Premier League game for only the second time and made a crucial, finely judged offside decision when Fernando Torres scored the first goal for Liverpool. She is one of three assistant referees selected for promotion by the Premier League.
In the 50-second exchange, Gray also attacked Wendy Toms, who in the late 90s became the first female assistant referee in the Premier League, saying: "She was f**k**g hopeless as well."
Keys turned his fire on Karren Brady, the deputy chair of West Ham, who on Saturday wrote a newspaper column saying she had been the victim of sex discrimination from the football media. "See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism?" Keys said.
A spokesman for Sky said: "The comments reported are not acceptable. They were not made on air but we have spoken to Richard and Andy and told them our views and they have apologised and expressed their regret." The FA declined to address the issue directly.