Northern Ireland women’s coach’s sexist slip after defeat against England


Following Northern Ireland’s defeat (5–0) against England in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup, Northern Irish coach Kenny Shiels explained the shock by the players’ extreme emotionality.

A statement that needs to be talked about in the Northern Irish locker room. Kenny Shiels appeared before the press on Tuesday after his players suffered a massive (5-0) defeat against England in qualifying for the 2023 World Cup. A slap that the 65-year-old technician justified in her own way: “Girls and women are more emotional than men. So they take a target and then throw it away.”


Shiels was referring to a back-to-back goal from Northern Ireland in the 52nd and 60th minutes. Leaving this observation aside, he attributes it not only to his players but to women’s football in general. He develops his surprising theory, assuming his analysis of players’ perceived excessive emotionality: “In women’s football, you will have noticed, if you follow the diagrams, that when a team concedes a goal , so they accept a second within a period. Time. Very little time. It’s a problem – not just Northern Ireland – but all countries have this problem.”

Ian Wright and Siobhan Chamberlain react

A controversial statement that some players in British football, including Ian Wright, were quick to react to. The Arsenal legend lamented the ‘nonsense’ of Shiels and recalled “how many times he himself cried on the pitch”.

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Former Three Lions goalkeeper, Siobhan Chamberlain, also stepped up, reminding IrelandLive that “it’s not just in women’s football, it’s in men’s football too and it’s a comment to normalize for women. Strange”. The former Manchester United goalkeeper also drew on Shiels’ theory, saying it was unique to women’s football: “five minutes after you have conceded or scored a goal at all levels and not only in women’s football, but in men’s football.” Even in K football, you’re more likely to concede a goal and you’re more likely to score again.”

Northern Ireland already out of World Cup race

Apart from this announcement, the match between England and Northern Ireland was without stakes, Sarina Wigman’s players had already qualified and Northern Irish had already been eliminated. Six points behind Austria, with a play-off and a clearly unfavorable margin, Kenny Shiels and his players will not see Australia and New Zealand in July 2023.


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