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Northern Ireland's Evans apologises for wife's ref rant

© AFP/File | Northern Ireland's midfielder Corry Evans, pictured here, released a statement through the Irish Football Association saying sorry for his wife's Twitter post directed at a referee

BELFAST (AFP) - 

Corry Evans has apologised for his wife's foul-mouthed tweet towards the referee who awarded a penalty against him in Northern Ireland's World Cup play-off defeat by Switzerland in Belfast on Thursday.

The key moment came with just over 30 minutes to go when Xherdan Shaqiri's volley from range was blocked by Evans just a few yards away in the box and Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan pointed to the spot, even though the ball struck him on his shoulder as he took evasive action.

Ricardo Rodriguez made no mistake from the penalty spot at Windsor Park to give the Swiss a 1-0 win ahead of the second leg.

In a tweet sent from a now-deleted account, Lisa Evans referred to Hategan in disparaging terms as a "Romanian gypsy", adding: "And to actually think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!!"

Corry Evans released a statement Friday through the Irish Football Association saying sorry for his wife's Twitter post.

"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," his statement said.

"The comments were published in the heat of the moment and are not representative of her views."

Evans was also booked for his role in the penalty incident, ruling him out of Sunday's return leg in Basel.

© 2017 AFP