French DJ and Ballon d'Or host Martin Solveig has apologized to the inaugural women's victor Ada Hegerberg after a row erupted over a question he posed to her during the award ceremony. "This was a joke, probably a bad one, and I want to apologise for the one I may have offended, sorry about that".
"I explained to Ada Hegerberg the buzz and she told me she understood it was a joke", said Solveig in a tweet. "Being a women's footballer and winning the Ballon d'Or tonight is a step for me to take that action, personally".
"He came to me afterwards and was really sad that it went that way".
Already, she set a tournament record with 15 Champions League goals last season - including in Lyon's 4-1 victory over Wolfsburg in the final.
Taking a stand against what she describes as a lack of respect for female players in Norway, Hegerberg hasn't played for the national team since it crashed out of the group stage of the Women's European Championship in 2017 without scoring a goal.
"Why do woman [sic] still have to put up with that s--?" he posted on Instagram.
The England defender, 27, told the BBC: 'Ada can twerk, she was lying.
Ada Hegerberg, right, with David Ginola (left) and Martin Solveig.
The reaction on social media was swift and furious, with tennis player Andy Murray commenting on the matter; "Another example of the ridiculous sexism that still exists in sport". She added, "I also want to thank France Football".
"To everyone who thinks people are overreacting and it was just a joke... it wasn't".
Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric won the men's award.
"Apologies to anyone who may have been offended", said Solveig on Twitter, in what has become something of a classic apology, non-apology style used by people who have been caught out while behaving like arseholes.
When the Norway global came on stage to receive his Ballon d'Or last night, the co-host DJ Martin Solveig asked the football star "Do you know how to twerk?". "I've been involved in sport my whole life and the level of sexism is unreal".
"A lot of things need to be done to make the conditions better for women who play football", she said.