Evans apologises for wife’s racist outburst at referee
Corry Evans has issued an unreserved apology for his wife’s racist rant at Ovidiu Hategan after the Romanian referee gave a controversial penalty against the Northern Ireland international.
Lisa Evans abused the match official in an expletive-laden tweet after he penalised her husband for handball in the World Cup play-off defeat by Switzerland. Hategan’s decision to book the Blackburn Rovers midfielder means he is suspended for tomorrow’s second leg in Basel.
A tweet from Evans’s account said: “Romanian gypsy cunt!!! And to actually think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!! Ungrateful twat!! Anyway onwards and upwards. #GAWA”. Evans’s tweet has been deleted and her account was briefly deactivated before she reappeared on Twitter to issue an apology of her own.
“I would like to sincerely apologise to anyone I offended for the language contained in my tweet, I understand it was completely unacceptable, I should never have let my emotions take over. I would never condone racism in any way.”
Earlier, in a statement issued through the Irish Football Association, Evans said: “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. The comments were published in the heat of the moment and are not representative of her views.”
Despite his suspension Evans has travelled to Switzerland with the squad for the return game. Michael O’Neill, the Northern Ireland manager, described the penalty against Evans as the worst
Northern Ireland’s Corry Evans picked up a booking against Switzerland, which means the defender misses tomorrow’s second leg decision he has witnessed during his international career.
O’Neill believes that raw sense of injustice can fuel the improvement required for his team to salvage their World Cup aspirations. “We have nothing to lose,” he said. “We are a little bit of a victim and we have to use it in that way and we will see how the Swiss deal with it on their home territory.”
Evans’s brother, Jonny, believes the tie is far from decided. “Although the anger and disappointment is still brewing we have to make sure we pick ourselves up and give everything going into the second game,” he said. “We’ve still got a big chance to turn it round. It’s happened early enough in the tie … We still have the ability and character in the squad to turn it around. You look back at the Euros, we lost the opening game to Poland. We managed to come back, played unbelievable against Ukraine, so we will have to see. There’s still a lot of motivation in the squad and a big prize there for us.”