Northern Ireland manager Kenny Shiels has apologised for commenting that women's teams tend to concede multiple goals in quick succession because women are more emotional than men.
Northern Ireland were beaten 5-0 by England in World Cup qualifying on Tuesday evening, shipping four goals in 19 minutes. Four days earlier Shiels' side conceded three goals in nine minutes in a 3-1 defeat to Austria.
"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 short period of time," Shiels said at full-time. "Right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men. So, they don't take a goal going in very well."
The comments overshadowed a historic night for women's football in Northern Ireland, with a record crowd of 15,348 in attendance for the clash against England at Windsor Park.
"I wish to apologise for my comments made in the post-match press conference last night," a statement released by Shiels and the IFA read. "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."