England captain Rio Ferdinand has defended referees' assistant Sian Massey against the "prehistoric views" of Sky Sports duo Richard Keys and Andy Gray.
The pair commented on Massey's appointment for the Barclays Premier League game between Wolves and Liverpool at Molineux on Saturday, when they believed their microphones were switched off.
They agreed that female officials "don't know the offside rule", and have since been stood down for tonight's broadcast of Bolton v Chelsea.
Keys also went on to remark on comments made by West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady in The Sun on Saturday morning about the level of sexism in football by saying: "See charming Karren Brady this morning complaining about sexism? Yeah. Do me a favour, love."
Ferdinand today joined the chorus of disapproval over the comments, writing on his Twitter account: "I'm all for women refereeing in football, discrimination should not happen in our game at all...prehistoric views if you think otherwise."
Massey defied Keys and Gray's opinions by making a correct borderline call in the build-up to Liverpool's first goal at Molineux, and Ferdinand added: "Did anyone see the decision the lineswoman made in the Liverpool vs Wolves game...top decision. Judge them like men on their ability to ref."
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