The manager of the Northern Ireland women’s football team, Kenny Shiels, boss apologises for suggesting female football teams concede goals in quick succession because "women are more emotional than men."
The Northern Ireland boss told crowds at Windsor Park that the pressure gets to female players more, leading them to concede more goals in quick succession.
The comments followed his side conceding 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.
Kenny Shiels: "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.
The controversial statements drew criticism from the prominent women in the football community, who regarded the statements as foolish, reductive and bizarre.
In his follow up statement, Sheils said: "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."
"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."
Shiels, 65, was appointed manager of the senior women's team in May 2019, having previously been in charge of two men’s teams.
He oversaw Northern Ireland's successful Euro 2022 play-off campaign, which saw them secure the country's first-ever qualification for a major women's tournament.
Shiels described his side's qualification as the "UK's greatest sporting achievement".