England FA apologizes for deleted World Cup tweet

England's Laura Bassett (6) is consoled by teammate Claire Rafferty after Bassett gave up an own goal to give Japan the win in their FIFA Women's World Cup semifinal. (Jeff McIntosh/CP)

LONDON — The English Football Association apologized for a tweet it subsequently deleted about its Women’s World Cup team which prompted criticism across social media on Monday.

After England returned from its third-place finish in Canada, the FA wrote on Twitter on Monday: "Our Lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title — heroes."

It linked to a story which was later amended to only say that England "returned home as heroes." The FA said the story was attempting to reflect the personal stories of players.

"Sorry if I caused offence," FA content editor James Callow tweeted. "The piece is intended to sum up a nice moment when players are reunited with their families.

"I reject any accusation of sexism and human interest is a big part of any sport reporting. I’d have done the same for England men, absolutely."