Phil Neville Apologizes After Controversial Sexist Tweets Come to Light

New England women's team manager Phil Neville has apologized for controversial tweets that emerged after his appointment and insisted they are not a "genuine reflection" of him.

The comments made via Neville's Twitter account came to light on Tuesday night (January 23) as the Football Association (FA) appointed him head coach of the Lionesses.

The 41-year-old former Manchester United defender has been coaching ever since he retired from playing in 2013, but has only managed one game. That was for Salford City, the team he co-owns with other former United players.

"Following comments made a number of years ago I would like to clarify that they were not and are not a true and genuine reflection of either my character or beliefs, and would like to apologize," a statement from Neville via the FA read.

"I am fully aware of my responsibilities as the England Women's Head Coach and am immensely proud and honored to have been given the role. I am now looking forward to the future and will work tirelessly to try and help bring success to the team."

Phil Neville
Phil Neville at Paterna Training Centre, Valencia, Spain, February 9, 2016. Neville was appointed head coach of England women's team on Tuesday. Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty

Neville has been accused of sexism due to the content of his historical tweets. In 2011, he wrote "Relax I'm back chilled - just battered the wife!!! Feel better now!"

Six months later, in January 2012, he wrote: "When I said morning men I thought the women would of been busy preparing breakfast/getting kids ready/making the beds-sorry morning women!"

In December that year, he was involved in an exchange with his sister Tracey Neville, the former England netball player. He wrote: "u women of always wanted equality until it comes to paying the bills #hypocrites"

According to The Guardian, senior members of the FA were aware of the tweets Neville had sent before appointing him to the role. Neville deleted his Twitter account after the controversial posts came to light.

Roisin Wood, the chief executive of anti-discrimination campaign Kick It Out, said the organization had "serious concerns" over the recruitment process and said there were "more questions than answers."

"In light of recent action taken in response to historical social media comments made by current football participants, the question must now be asked—will The FA be charging Neville for posting discriminatory comments on social media?" a statement read.

"Kick It Out has supported the recent steps The FA has undertaken to ensure that going forward, the governing body equality and diversity practices will be up to standard and will help football reflect the multicultural society in which we live.

"However, we believe that if The FA wants to recover the confidence of the public, it must ensure that the concerns surrounding Phil Neville's appointment are comprehensively addressed."