Northern Ireland women’s national team boss Shiels apologizes after comments about ’emotional imbalance’

Northern Ireland women’s national team boss Kenny Shiels has apologized for comments suggesting the players suffer from an “emotional imbalance” compared to their male counterparts.

Shiels’ side were beaten 5-0 by England in front of a record crowd at Windsor Park, prompting controversial comments from their coach suggesting their lack of composure was due to their gender.

Shiels’ words were widely condemned in the ensuing period and now the former Kilmarnock and Derry City boss has expressed regret for what he said.

What was said?

“I want to apologize for my comments made at the post-match press conference last night. I’m sorry for the offense they caused,” Shiels said on Wednesday.

“Last night was a special occasion for women’s football in Northern Ireland and I am proud to lead a group of players who are role models for so many girls and boys across the country.

“I am an advocate for women’s football and passionate about developing opportunities for women and girls to thrive.”

What happened?

Shiels’ controversial words came following a humiliating defeat for his side in front of a record crowd in Belfast, as the Lionesses put their neighbors to the sword in a five-goal thrashing.

His analysis was met with immediate backlash throughout the game, with former Arsenal and England star Ian Wright brandishing him as “insane” for bringing gender into the conversation.

Former Arsenal and Northern Ireland goalkeeper Emma Byrne also slammed the comments, telling off the ball“I would be surprised if he was the manager for the next game to be honest.

“You can’t discriminate like that, it’s the one thing you don’t need in women’s football when it’s on the momentum, the trajectory (it is).”

Northern Ireland will face England again in this summer’s European Championship, with the pair drawn alongside Austria and Northern Ireland in the group stages.

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