Northern Ireland coach apologises after blaming defeat to England on 'emotional' women
'I am an advocate for the women's game.'
Northern Ireland coach Kenny Shiels has apologised for the offence caused by his comments after his side's 5-0 defeat to England.
Speaking after the World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park, Shiels said: "In the women’s game, I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you’re aware, if you go through the patterns, when a team concedes a goal they concede a second one in a very very short period of time, right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men."
After a huge backlash against the sexist comment, he issued an apology via the Irish FA.
"I wish to apologise for my comments made in the post-match press conference last night. I am sorry for the offence that they have caused," his statement began.
"Last night was a special occasion for the women’s game in Northern Ireland and I am proud to manage a group of players who are role models for so many girls, and boys, across the country.
"I am an advocate for the women's game and passionate about developing opportunities for women and girls to flourish."
The staggeringly inappropriate comments tarnished what should have been a historic night for Northern Irish football, with a record attendance of 15,348 fans at Windsor Park.
He has been widely criticised for obvious reasons, with journalist Flo Lloyd-Hughes highlighting the fact that Shiels has previously opted out of post-match media duties because they made him 'emotionally imbalanced.'
Interviewed Kenny Shiels after the Euros draw in October and he was an…interesting character. Have a look at his time in management and there’s plenty of examples of bizarre behaviour, like skipping post match cos it made him “emotionally imbalanced”https://t.co/fzq9rcykbs
— Flo Lloyd-Hughes (@FloydTweet) April 13, 2022
In addition to that, Derry-born Republic of Ireland international James McClean also went in on Shiels, referring to previous, equally idiotic comments he made about international football in 2016.
"Same guy when managing Derry said that international football has no pride anymore, that Ireland are England reserves and the North of Ireland are England reserves' reserves and now manages the North of Ireland's women's INTERNATIONAL team," he remarked on Instagram.