Northern Ireland star's wife calls referee Romanian gipsy

Lisa Evans, wife of Blackburn Rovers centre-back Corry, tweeted the vile abuse after referee Ovidiu Hategan controversially gave Swiss a penalty against her husband in Belfast.

A Northern Ireland footballer has been forced into issuing a humbling apology after his wife branded a referee 'a Romanian gipsy c**t' in a rant over a terrible decision in the country's World Cup qualifier with Switzerland.

Lisa Evans, wife of Blackburn Rovers centre-back Corry, tweeted the vile abuse after referee Ovidiu Hategan controversially gave Swiss a penalty against her husband in Belfast last night. Replays showed the ball hit Corry's back and not his hand.

Switzerland scored from the spot kick, which gave them a crucial 1-0 lead into the second leg of the play-off for Russia 2018.

Lisa Evans, wife of Blackburn Rovers centre-back Corry, tweeted the vile abuse after referee Ovidiu Hategan controversially gave Swiss a penalty against her husband in Belfast last night

Lisa Evans, wife of Blackburn Rovers centre-back Corry, tweeted the vile abuse after referee Ovidiu Hategan controversially gave Swiss a penalty against her husband in Belfast last night

Corry Evans is 'gutted' to have given away a penalty as Switzerland beat Northern Ireland

Corry Evans is 'gutted' to have given away a penalty as Switzerland beat Northern Ireland

The Swiss took a huge advantage away from the first leg of the World Cup qualifying play-off

The Swiss took a huge advantage away from the first leg of the World Cup qualifying play-off

Corry, who is the brother of West Brom defender and Northern Ireland teammate, Jonny, was given a yellow card which means he will miss the away tie on Sunday.  

A tweet from Lisa's account, which she has since deleted, said: 'Romanian gypsy c***!!! And to actually think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!! Ungrateful t***!! Anyway onwards and upwards. #GAWA'

Corry, who started his professional career in the Manchester United youth setup, said in a statement: '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.'

Lisa deleted her twitter account after the foul-mouthed rant against the Romanian official 

Lisa deleted her twitter account after the foul-mouthed rant against the Romanian official 

Corry issued a grovelling apology 'on behalf of my wife' saying she had tweeted 'in the heat of the moment'

Corry issued a grovelling apology 'on behalf of my wife' saying she had tweeted 'in the heat of the moment'

After the match he himself had branded the referee's decision 'disgraceful'.

He said: 'It was disgraceful. I clearly didn't put my hand up. I know it hit me on the back of the shoulder and I'm just absolutely gutted to be honest.

'He's booked me which means I'm out of the second leg as well which is devastating.

'The lads said to keep my chin up. These things happen in football but the referee didn't help us at all tonight.

'We have to pick ourselves up now and hopefully the lads can get a result out in Switzerland. It will be difficult but we have to forget about this game and focus on the game in Basle now.

Evans was very harshly adjudged to have blocked Xherdan Shaqiri's shot with his arm

Evans was very harshly adjudged to have blocked Xherdan Shaqiri's shot with his arm

Evans - who misses the second leg after being booked - claims the ball actually hit his shoulder

Evans - who misses the second leg after being booked - claims the ball actually hit his shoulder

'I'm absolutely devastated about the decision but the game in Basle is more important and I will be there to support them.'

Northern Ireland manager Michael O'Neill said after the game: 'It is staggering to think that the referee can award a penalty in that situation.

'The referee is five or six yards from the incident, he has nobody in his line of sight.

'Corry has just gone to block it. He's turned his body and the arm isn't in an unnatural position, it isn't away from his body.

His brother Jonny claimed it was a bigger injustice than Thierry Henry's infamous handball

His brother Jonny claimed it was a bigger injustice than Thierry Henry's infamous handball

'The ball actually hits him more in the back and the top of the shoulder, so it is incredible.

'I thought he has blown for a foul or an offside or something at first, I think it's incredible that he has given it for that. Nobody had claimed for it. It's bewildering in this day in age. It's such a vital stage of the game.

'The tackle, the opening tackle, was borderline red card, so the referee did us no favours tonight.' 

In 2013, referee sparked controversy for not following UEFA protocol for racism in a Champions League match in Russia, between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow.

The Romanian whistler allowed play to continue after City midfielder and Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure complained of racist abuse from the stands.

In 2013, referee sparked controversy for not following UEFA protocol for racism in a Champions League match in Russia, between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow

In 2013, referee sparked controversy for not following UEFA protocol for racism in a Champions League match in Russia, between Manchester City and CSKA Moscow

Then-UEFA president Michel Platini ordered an internal probe to ascertain why Hategan did not follow the protocol for dealing with incidents of a racist nature.

International players' union FifPro and anti-racism body Kick It Out both criticised Hategan for failing to stop the match, with the latter's chairman, Lord Ouseley, telling saying: 'The referee should not be refereeing again.

'He failed to do his duty last night and that is a clear issue that UEFA should be dealing with.' 

UEFA cleared Hategan of blame despite him not following the governing body's own procedures and CSKA Moscow's ground was partially closed for the following season's Champions League matches.