Video: Watch Martin O'Neill put his foot in it with non-PC WAG gag
In the realm of jaw-dropping one-liners, Martin O’Neill has always played second fiddle to Roy Keane, but today in the bowels of the Aviva Stadium the tables were turned.
As O’Neill and John O’Shea sat before the media there was little indication that the pre-game press conference for Ireland’s friendly with Switzerland would be anything other than routine. However, a prompt shift in mood quickly came about.
On Tuesday in Abbotstown, Roy Keane was asked whether the Ireland management would take the same approach as their Welsh counterparts in barring the partners and families of players from the team hotel during Euro 2016 in France.
As expected, the assistant manger’s answer was both curt and funny but would pale in comparison to O’Neill’s, when the same query was put to him.
The former Leicester boss, with a wholly indifferent expression across his face, laid out his parameters for allowing significant others access to the players.
“It depends on how good looking the girls are,” he said with a wry smile. “If they’re really attractive they’re very, very welcome. The uglier ones? I’m afraid no.”
Cue a murmur of incredulous laughter and a look from John O’Shea that said ‘what did he just say?’ O’Neill was then told of Keane’s admission that his family often enjoyed when he was away from long periods and, again, the Derry native didn’t disappoint.
“I’m quite sure that’s absolutely true.”
O'Neill is well-known for his sarcastic tone but his comments prompted some criticism on Twiter.
Proof that sometimes, 'jokes' just don't work...https://t.co/nu8lr7Qr9h— Elizabeth Hudson (@elizhudson3) March 24, 2016
Martin O'Neill says crappy things about women and it's referred to as a "joke" ppl laugh. Sports culture sucks. https://t.co/czMGWCuDgW— Coimín (@KimberleeTaylor) March 24, 2016
Is it any wonder football interviews are so boring when Martin O'Neill gets all this grief for making what was quite obviously a joke— Gerry Ó Móráin (@furry_vision) March 24, 2016
Martin O'Neill "attempts" WAG "joke"https://t.co/c0DRghILxj— James Tyler (@JamesTylerESPN) March 24, 2016
Yo, Martin O'Neill. Stop talking. https://t.co/aVo0balXso— Kelly (@KellyDavitt) March 24, 2016