FOOTBALL pundit Graeme Souness has defended comments he made on Sky Sports about the sport being “a man’s game”. 

He said he did not regret “a word of it” despite receiving a lot of backlash on social media among past and present England women’s players. 

The former Rangers player and manager was sharing his thoughts on the clash between Chelsea and Tottenham which saw a couple of altercations between managers Thomas Tuchel and Antonio Conte. 

Souness said he was pleased to see the intensity on show because it showed it “is a man’s game all of a sudden now”.  

Former Lioness Eni Aluko tweeted: “Awkward turtles, Graeme Souness talking about 'it’s a man’s game again' sat next to an England centurion Karen Carney, two weeks after the Lionesses end a 56-year wait and win the European Championships. 

“Come on. It’s not okay.”

A current member of the England squad who won the recent European Championships also hit out at Souness. Bethany England said: “Get in the [bin]. What a disgraceful thing to say after the summer this country has just seen.”

However, Souness has hit back at the criticisms and insisted he was merely talking about the nature of the match he watched. 

During an interview on talkSport on Monday where he was asked if he regretted his comments, Souness said: “Not a word of it. 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.”

Presenter Simon Jordan, who used to own Crystal Palace, defended Souness, saying he felt the comments were taken out of context. 

Jordan said: “It’s preposterous. I’ve seen some of the blowback. What an absolute load of nonsense. 

The National: Souness came under fire for comments he made on Sky SportsSouness came under fire for comments he made on Sky Sports

“A man describing a game featuring men can’t apparently use the words man or men in conjunction with a game featuring solely men. 

“Are we losing context here, have we got to a point where we have to say “hang on here, the Women’s Super League that’s bias. 

“Are we getting into that territory? It’s ridiculous. Graeme made an observation about a game and made it in conjunction with what he was watching.”

Souness added that his comments yesterday “were saying we’ve got our game back”.

“That is the kind of football I remember playing in. We’ve got to be better for it. The directive to the referees is long overdue, we’ve got our game back," he said. 

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

READ MORE: Ex-Celtic youngster suspended by Larne over 'pro-IRA t-shirt'

“Okay, I don’t think we should be condoning the thing on the touchline, but I’ve been there. If you are on the touchline and things aren’t going your way and you feel there’s been an injustice.”

Chelsea manager Tuchel and Spurs manager Conte had to be separated as the pair confronted each other at the end of the match as they shook hands.