A footballer and his wife have apologised after she called a Romanian referee a "gypsy c***" on Twitter during a World Cup match.
Northern Ireland midfielder Corry Evans was ruled to have handled the ball during the playoff match against Switzerland on Thursday.
The controversial decision saw Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez score the resultant penalty and the Swiss went on to win the first leg of the playoff 1-0.
The penalty led to an angry response from Evans' wife Lisa, who tweeted: "Romanian gypsy c***!!! And to actually think Northern Ireland has probably homed one of his smelly relatives!! Ungrateful t***!! Anyway onwards and upwards. #GAWA."
The remark attracted strong criticism, and she deactivated her account, before Evans issued a statement to apologise.
The comment, released through the Irish Football Association, said: "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."
Mrs Evans later reactivated her account to share her own apology.
She wrote: "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."
The decision to award a penalty, made be referee Ovidiu Hategan, has been heavily criticised after replays of the apparent hand ball appeared inconclusive.
Evans was booked for the incident, so will be suspended for the second leg of the tie in Basel on Sunday.
He is understood to be flying out with the team anyway.