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10th Nov 2017

Northern Ireland player’s wife launches astonishing rant at referee after penalty decision

"Romanian gypsy ****"

Robert Redmond

Northern Ireland were dealt a serious sporting injustice on Thursday night.

In the first-leg of their World Cup play-off against Switzerland at Windsor Park in Belfast, Michael O’Neill’s side were the victims of a truly awful piece of officiating. Ovidiu Hategan awarded the away team a penalty when Xherdan Shaqiri’s shot was blocked by Corry Evans in the second-half, despite the fact the ball clearly struck the Northern Ireland player’s back and not his arm.

It was a terrible decision by the referee, who then booked Evans – the brother of West Brom and former Manchester United defender Jonny Evans – ruling him out of the return leg on Sunday.

It was a cruel blow to Northern Ireland, who are aiming to qualify for their first World Cup since 1986, and to do so with one of the continent’s smallest pool of players. All supporters of the team are understandably angered and frustrated by the penalty decision.

O’Neill, the team’s manager, called it the “worst decision” he has seen in football and “staggering”, while the players looked dumbfounded by the referee’s decision. The Swiss players didn’t even appeal for a penalty. Post-match, Evans told the BBC the decision was “disgraceful”.

However, regardless of how poor the referee’s performance was, nothing, absolutely nothing, justifies resorting to this level of abuse. Lisa Evans, wife of Corry Evans, appeared to tweet a disgusting remark about the Romanian referee on Friday.

WARNING: The message [below] is particularly offensive. 

The tweet read:

“Romanian gypsy c***!!! And to actually think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!! Ungrateful t***!! Anyway onwards and upwards.”

The Mirror took screenshots of the tweets before her account disappeared.


Later on Friday, there was no sign of her account on Twitter.

Evans has released a statement about the tweets through the Irish Football Association:

‘On behalf of my wife, I would like to apologise unreservedly for the content and language contained in the Tweet that she issued last night.’

‘The comments were published in the heat of the moment and are not representative of her views,’ he added.

Later again, the account reappeared.

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