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Phil Neville apologises over Twitter posts

New Lionesses boss issues statement over 2012 messages.

Phil Neville has apologised for the sexist tweets that have come back to embarrass the new England Women head coach.

The former England defender faced criticised within hours of his appointment being confirmed on Tuesday over messages he posted in 2012.

In one tweet, he said he expected women not to have been reading his Twitter messages but to have been “preparing breakfast/getting kids ready/making the beds”.

Neville appeared to delete his Twitter account, @fizzer18, after the comments came to light.

His new employer, the Football Association, issued a statement from Neville on Wednesday that read: “Following comments made a number of years ago I would like to clarify that they were not and are not a true and genuine reflection of either my character or beliefs, and would like to apologise.

“I am fully aware of my responsibilities as the England Women’s head coach and am immensely proud and honoured to have been given the role. I am now looking forward to the future and will work tirelessly to try and help bring success to the team.”

The Women’s Sport Trust had called on the FA and Neville to address the former Manchester United player’s comments, and anti-discrimination group Kick It Out has called for strong action to be taken, including a possible charge.

Kick It Out chief executive Roisin Wood said the organisation has “serious concerns” about Neville’s appointment, given he has no experience of working in women’s football.

Wood stated Kick It Out was “making representations to the FA to ensure the governing body is transparent and accountable for their decision”, and said Neville’s Twitter comments appeared to be “misogynistic and sexist”.

Kick It Out questioned whether Neville should be disciplined.

Wood said: “In light of recent action taken in response to historical social media comments made by current football participants, the question must now be asked – will the FA be charging Neville for posting discriminatory comments on social media?”

She added: “We believe that if the FA wants to recover the confidence of the public, it must ensure that the concerns surrounding Phil Neville’s appointment are comprehensively addressed.”

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