Northern Ireland Women’s boss apologises for “women are more emotional” claim

Northern Ireland Women boss Kenny Shiels has apologised after claiming that women are more emotional than men following his side’s 5-0 defeat against England at Windsor Park.

The match was set to signal a historic evening for women’s football. A total of 15,348 fans were in the stadium – a record attendance for football in the country.

On the pitch, England were dominant. Lauren Hemp and Georgia Stanway both netted twice, with Ella Toone also getting on the scoresheet.

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Sarina Wiegman’s side kept up their 100% record in Group D of Women’s World Cup qualifying. They also have an incredible goal difference of +63. Northern Ireland, meanwhile, sit in third place.

However, the night was overshadowed by comments made by Northern Ireland boss Kenny Shiels.

What did Kenny Shiels say?

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Speaking after the game, the Northern Ireland Women boss said: “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 not going in very well.”

Shiels, who has been Northern Ireland Women boss since 2019, received a huge amount of backlash for his comments.

Former Arsenal striker Ian Wright tweeted: “Kenny Shiels talking foolishness! Talking about emotional women! Didn’t that man see how many times I was crying on the PITCH!”

Former England goalkeeper, Siobhan Chamberlain, meanwhile, told BBC Radio 5 Live: “I think we all know that the five minutes after you concede a goal – not just in women’s football, in men’s football – you’re more likely to concede a goal.

“To just generalise that to women is a slightly bizarre comment.”

Shiels apologises for comments

In an official statement on the Northern Irish FA website, Kenny Shiels apologised for his comments.

He 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.”

Featured Image Credit: Getty