Northern Ireland player apologises for wife’s offensive and racist tweet
Lisa Evans says she understands her Twitter comments were ‘completely unacceptable’
Northern Ireland’s Corry Evans, on right, reacts after conceding a penalty for handball during Wednesday night’s game at Windsor Park, Belfast. Photograph: Niall Carson/PA Wire
Northern Ireland footballer Corry Evans has apologised “unreservedly” on behalf of his wife after she posted a racist and offensive tweet.
Lisa Evans took umbrage after Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan awarded a heavily disputed penalty against her husband Corry, a Blackburn Rovers player, during Northern Ireland’s first leg World Cup playoff game against Switzerland on Wednesday night.
Corry Evans was also yellow-carded and is ruled out of the away game on Sunday evening.
Ricardo Rodriguez converted the penalty and Northern Ireland lost 1-0. There was a fairly broad consensus that it was a harsh decision and there was even doubt over whether the ball struck the player on the arm.
The away game takes place on Sunday evening in Basle.
In a tweet Ms Evans described the referee as a “Romanian gypsy c***!!!”.
“And to actually think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!! Ungrateful twat!! Anyway onwards and upwards,” she added.
Her Twitter account was subsequently deleted.
Corry Evans, brother of West Bromwich Albion defender Jonny who was also playing on Thursday night, issued a statement on Friday apologising for the tweet.
“On behalf of my wife, I would like to apologise unreservedly for the content and language contained in the tweet that she issued last night,” he said.
“The comments were published in the heat of the moment and are not representative of her views,” the footballer added.
Ms Evans later reactivated her account to post a personal apology. “I would like to sincerely apologise to anyone I offended for the language contained in my tweet,” she wrote.
“I understand it was completely unacceptable, I should have never have let my emotions take over. I would never condone racism in any way,” she added.
The North’s Equality Commission deplored the tweet. “Racist and offensive language is not appropriate in any circumstance,” said a spokesman.
“When commenting on the behaviour of any individual, making reference to that person’s ethnic or national origin is irrelevant,” he added.
A PSNI spokeswoman said that as far as police were aware, “no report has been made to police regarding this incident”.