Northern Ireland coach blames defeat to England on 'emotional' women 4 months ago

Northern Ireland coach blames defeat to England on 'emotional' women

An astonishingly stupid thing to say

Northern Ireland coach Kenny Shiels leant into sexist stereotypes in his assessment of his side's 5-0 defeat to England on Tuesday night.

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England's women took the lead through Lauren Hemp in the 26th minute, before doubling their lead shortly after half-time through Ella Toone. Three more goals then followed in the space of 20 minutes to make it 5-0.

Rather than acknowledge the gulf in quality between the two sides as the primary reason for the thrashing, Shiels blamed England's quick flurry of goals on the notion that women are more emotional than men.

With his own mouth, he actually said the following: "In the women’s game, I’ve noticed, as I’m sure you’re aware, if you go through the patterns, when a team concedes a goal they concede a second one in a very very short period of time, right through the whole spectrum of the women’s game, because girls and women are more emotional than men.

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"So, they take a goal going in not very well."

The staggeringly offensive comments tarnished what should have been a historic night for Northern Irish football, with a record attendance of 15,348 fans at Windsor Park.

Shiels' comments have been widely criticised for obvious reasons, with journalist Flo Lloyd-Hughes highlighting the fact that he has previously opted out of post-match media duties because they made him 'emotionally imbalanced.'

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In contrast, England boss Sarina Wiegman praised her side's 'mature' performance that saw the Lionesses maintain their five-point lead at the top of their qualifying group, as well as sustaining their impeccable defensive record.

"The result is great," said Wiegman. "I’m really happy with 5-0. I thought it was a mature performance from us. I think we dominated the game as well."

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