Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels has apologised for saying “women are more emotional than men” when discussing his side’s 5-0 defeat by England.
Shiels’ remarks drew criticism from former England players Siobhan Chamberlain and Ian Wright.
He said on Wednesday that he was “sorry for the offence” caused.
“I am an advocate for the women’s game and passionate about developing opportunities for women and girls to flourish,” he said.
Shiels’ side conceded four second-half goals in a 5-0 defeat by England that left them unable to qualify for next year’s Women’s World Cup.
He told a post-match news conference: “I felt [England] were struggling a wee bit at times to open us up until the psychology of going 2-0 up in the women’s game.
“I’m sure you will have noticed if you go through the patterns – when a team concedes a goal, they concede a second one in a very, very short space of time.
“[It happens] right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men. So, they take a goal going in not very well.”
The match was attended by a crowd of 15,348 at Windsor Park in Belfast – a record for a women’s match in the country.
“I wish to apologise for my comments made in the post-match press conference last night,” Shiels said.
‘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.”
More to follow.