January 29, 2018 / 1:48 PM / 22 days ago

Soccer-I am not a sexist, says England women's coach Neville

LONDON, Jan 29 (Reuters) - England women’s coach Phil Neville has denied being sexist and is confident he is the right person for the job despite his lack of experience.

The former Manchester United defender has been widely criticised since his appointment last week after comments he made on Twitter a few years ago came to light, one of which said he had “just battered the wife”.

In his first interview since being named manager, Neville reiterated an apology he made last week, saying he was wrong to post the remarks on social media in 2011 and 2012.

”That tweet was not sent out in terms of domestic violence but the words were not right then and not right now,“ Neville said. ”That disappoints me more than anything.

“I had to apologise, I didn’t like the words used. I‘m not a sexist. I’ve lived my life right.”

Neville, 41, has also been criticised for his lack of experience of women’s football, but he said he had coached extensively at a high level.

“The gap (between the men’s and women’s game) is closing and I would have thought there were not many candidates with my experience of elite players,” he said.

“I have taken my coaching badges and can’t be more qualified than I am. I am a fast learner.” (Reporting by Neil Robinson, editing by Ed Osmond)

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