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English football great Gary Lineker has been forced to delete a tweet in the wake of his country's victory in the women's Euro 2022 final.
England's dream became a reality when substitute Chloe Kelly slotted home in extra-time to help the Lionesses beat Germany 2-1 in the final and secure the first major trophy in the country's history at Wembley Stadium.
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Kelly prodded the ball past Merle Frohms in the 110th minute to restore the tournament hosts' lead after fellow substitute Ella Toone's wonderful lobbed opener just after the hour mark.
Eight-time champions Germany equalised with 11 minutes of normal time remaining through Lina Magull, and the game looked on course for a penalty shootout until Kelly's effort fired Sarina Wiegman's side to glory.
Kelly celebrated by taking off her shirt and waving it around her head, with the star left wearing her sports bra for a number of minutes.
Celebrating England's victory in the aftermath, Lineker tweeted: “The Lionesses have only gone and done it, and Kelly is England’s heroine, bra none.”
The former striker-turned-pundit copped a wave of backlash over the 'bra' comment, with many accusing him of disrespecting Kelly's moment.
Karen Ingala Smith, chief executive of the Nia charity campaigning against violence against women, wrote: “Please apologise for and condemn the sexist responses to your now deleted badly judged tweet.”
Another Twitter user wrote: “Seriously Gary? An epic win, a game-changer for women’s sport, a call to arms for young girls who have been told they can’t. And you minimise this glory down to a joke about a woman’s clothing/underwear.
“Casual sexism is rife here and the Lionesses deserve better.”
While another said: “So Gary Lineker you’ve removed your entirely unfunny sexist tweet - are you going to apologise for posting it in the first place?”
— FiLiA (@FiLiA_charity) August 1, 2022
I’m glad to see that @GaryLineker has deleted his ‘bra none’ Tweet, but it saddens me that he made it in the first place.
Funny how I’ve never seen a Tweet referring to the fact the only cups the men’s team have ever touched are the ones they wear down their shorts for a game.
— Hannah Wiley (@thelifeofwiley) August 1, 2022
Gary Lineker showing us all that the anti sexism in sport campaign is all bollox. Here he gives a green light to mysogynistic behaviour towards women champions. Carry on Gary, carry on 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/pFepTECDRN
— Lazy Susan (@LazySusan14) July 31, 2022
The bloke that called women fighting for womens sport “nonsense” feels it necessary to make a joke on the biggest sporting occasion for women EVER. It’s a sports bra. Very necessary for women who play sport. You nob!
— karrie (@KarrieboKarrie) July 31, 2022
I’m breaking my own rules today and calling it out when I see it. I’m aware it’s totally pointless, but women succeeding in a field men think is their own has unleashed some disgusting views. It needs men to challenge it, though. Gary Lineker, for instance?!
— Mary E 💜🤍💚 (@Eleanorandcat) August 1, 2022
Gary Lineker apologises for bra tweet after Euros final
The TV broadcaster has since responded to the backlash, tweeting: “It was just a play on words given the celebration.
“I do rubbish like that constantly on here, including on men’s football. I’ve deleted it as many people didn’t see the game so missed the context.”
Kelly was given a yellow card by referee Kateryna Monzul after the celebration, as removing your shirt is illegal.
However Kelly said she has no regrets.
“I just went mental,” she said. “Honestly, I didn’t know what to do.
"But I think it was an amazing celebration because - what a tournament. I didn’t think about it. I didn’t plan it. It was alright, wasn’t it?”
A year on from the men's team losing their Euros final on penalties to Italy, England can celebrate the first piece of major silverware for a senior side since the men's 1966 World Cup triumph over West Germany.
There was jubilation at the final whistle as the players tried to take in what they had done amid an almighty roar from the 87,192 crowd - the biggest-ever attendance for any Euros match, men's or women's.
"I just can't stop crying. We talk, we talk and we talk and we finally done it. You know what, the kids are alright. This is the proudest moment of my life," England captain Leah Williamson said.
"Listen the legacy of this tournament is the change in society. The legacy of this team is winners and that is the journey.
"I love every single one of you, I'm so proud to be English. I'm trying so hard not to swear."
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