Rachel Riley quits Friday Night Football after 'hideous abuse' online

Sky Sports presenter came under fire for describing crucial Spurs defeat as a 'bottle job'

Jeff Stelling Rachel Riley
Jeff Stelling and Rachel Riley on Sky Sports's Friday Night Football
(Image credit: Sky Sports)

Rachel Riley has quit her job on Sky Sports' Friday Night Football after receiving "hideous personal abuse" online for comments she made about Spurs at the end of last season.

The presenter says she was targeted after describing Tottenham's 1-0 defeat to West Ham as a "proper bottle job", reports The Times.

Her comments even prompted the club to complain to Sky. "It also led to internet trolls hurling sexist abuse at her," says the Daily Mail.

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Riley took to Twitter "to defend her choice of words and her appearance on the show, writing in since-deleted tweets that her comments were misconstrued", reports the Daily Telegraph.

However, she did not present the programme the following Friday, when Chelsea were confirmed as Premier League champions by beating West Brom. Instead, co-host Jeff Stelling was joined by pundits Jamie Redknapp, Thierry Henry and Frank Lampard.

"Sky were willing to offer Riley a new contract after her initial 12-month deal came to an end, but she has decided to pursue other opportunities," says the Times.

"The Oxford University graduate will also no longer appear on Sky's Fantasy Football Club show, which she co-hosted with Paul Merson and Max Rushden."

Riley, best-known for her role on Countdown, was unveiled alongisde Stelling as the face of Friday Night Football to "big fanfare", says the Daily Mirror.

However, the show's more informal style did not go down well with viewers or match schedulers and after some early season outings, it disappeared from the schedules. Sky resurrected the idea later in the season.

Sky's deal to show up to ten matches a season on Friday nights runs until 2019.

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