James McClean hits out at Kenny Shiels for offensive remarks on women's football

IRELAND international star James McClean is the latest footballer to blast Northern Ireland women's coach Kenny Shiels following his controversial comments about women's football.

James McClean has hit out at Northern Ireland women's boss Kenny Shiels.
James McClean has hit out at Northern Ireland women's boss Kenny Shiels.

In the aftermath of Northern Ireland's 5-0 defeat to England at Windsor Park on Tuesday night, Shiels caused a stir when saying his team had conceded two goals in quick succession because "girls and women are more emotional than men so they take a goal going in not very well."

Those offensive comments overshadowed the occasion at the Belfast venue with former players and pundits hitting back, including Arsenal and England legend Ian Wright who branded Shiels' suggestion 'foolish'.

And Derry man McClean weighed in on the condemnation of the ex-Derry City manager's unsavoury comments on his Instagram story, beginning his post; 'the gift that keeps on giving.'

The Wigan winger shared a screenshot of a news story on his post adding: "Same guy when managing Derry said that international football has no pride anymore, that Ireland are England reserves and the north of Ireland are England reserves' reserves and now manages the north of Ireland women's INTERNATIONAL team [sic]."

It's not the first time McClean has hit out at Shiels for comments made in the press. Back in 2016 when managing the Candy Stripes, Shiels said there was no pride in international football anymore because 'once you have had a pint of Guinness, you could play for Ireland'. McClean responded to those 'ridiculous' comments at the time, claiming Shiels 'knows very little about playing international football.'

Shiels has since apologised for his latest remarks and any offence they caused in a statement on the Irish Football Association website.

"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," he said.

"I am an advocate for the women's game and passionate about developing opportunities for women and girls to flourish."

Meanwhile, Women in Football’s chief executive Yvonne Harrison labelled Shiels' comments “very unhelpful”. Harrison told the PA news agency: “I was disappointed, I was quite shocked. Hearing a man talking about women being too emotional in this day and age, I just felt like I’d gone back 30 years, to be perfectly honest with you."

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