'I don't regret a word' - Souness refuses to take back 'man's game' comments after criticism from Lionesses

GFX Info Graeme Souness Bethany EnglandGetty/GOAL

Graeme Souness has refused to backtrack on comments he made during Sky Sports' broadcast of Chelsea's fiery 2-2 draw with Tottenham on Sunday, despite receiving criticism from Women's Euro 2022 winner Bethany England and Lionesses legend Eniola Aluko. During his analysis of the hotly-contested fixture, Souness controversially remarked: "It's a man's game all of a sudden again".

Souness was later criticised for his words by Aluko and England, with the latter telling him to 'get in the bin'.

After his initial response to the controversy sparked further backlash, he has since released a statement saying football is "for everyone to enjoy".

What has Souness said about his 'man's game comments'?

The former Liverpool boss insisted that he did not have any regrets when asked about the incident on talkSPORT.

“Not a word of it," he said. "Let me explain. I’ve been advocating for years that the referees have such a major part to play in the success of the Premier League.

“We’ve got to be careful what we say today and I’ve not been very good at that, but we were becoming like other leagues.

“They were blowing the whistle all the time and it wasn’t a good watch. Our game has always been unique, more meaty, more in your face and more intense and we got away from that.

“My comments yesterday were saying we’ve got our game back. That is the kind of football I remember playing in.

“I enjoyed two games of football yesterday where men were playing men and they got about themselves and were falling out with each other.“

Souness eventually clarifies his stance

After initially failing to backtrack on his comments, Sky Sports eventually released a statement from Souness in which he claimed that 'football is a game for everyone'.

"To clarify my comments from yesterday, I was referring to the two Premier League matches I watched live on Sunday afternoon, rather than the sport of football," he wrote.

"Football is a game for everyone to enjoy."

What happened in Chelsea vs Tottenham?

It was little surprise that a notoriously fierce competitor like Souness approved of Sunday's London derby.

Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte engaged in a running touchline battle throughout proceedings which culminated in each manager being sent off at full time.

After the game, Tuchel and Conte insisted that the fracas was not a problem, though both will now face suspension.