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 By PA Sport

Northern Ireland's Corry Evans, wife apologise for social media post targeting referee

Corry Evans and his wife have apologised for the foul-mouthed xenophobic tweet she sent after he conceded a penalty in Northern Ireland's World Cup playoff with Switzerland on Thursday night.

Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan controversially awarded the Swiss a second-half spot-kick having deemed Evans handled Xherdan Shaqiri's shot, with replays inconclusive over whether it struck the Blackburn midfielder's back or his arm, which was tucked in by his side.

Lisa Evans then targeted Hategan's nationality in a tweet from which she later deactivated, and her husband on Friday released a statement through the Irish Football Association to say sorry.

It read: "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."

Corry Evans conceded the penalty in Northern Ireland's defeat.

Lisa Evans later reactivated her account to post an apology of her own, which read: "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 have never have let my emotions take over. I would never condone racism in any way."

Ricardo Rodriguez scored the penalty at Belfast's Windsor Park to ensure Switzerland claimed a 1-0 advantage in the first leg of their playoff.

Evans was also booked for the incident, ruling him out of Sunday's return leg in Basel due to suspension.

The 27-year-old was still on the team's flight bound for Switzerland on Friday afternoon.

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