The tweet was swiftly deleted after critical responses branded it patronising to the professional players who had just finished as bronze medallists in the World Cup and with many in action in the Women’s Super League as soon as this Saturday.
The post on the @england Twitter account said: “Our #Lionesses go back to being mothers, partners and daughters today, but they have taken on another title – heroes.”
One response said: “So they’ve stopped being inspiring, successful footballers now? Massive own-goal from @england there.”
Another said: “Do male players return to be fathers and husbands?”
FA insiders said immediate action was taken to change the tweet which was “unfortunately phrased” and was aimed at flagging up the fact the players were returning to their families in Britain after more than a month away.
The FA has made a point in recent weeks of highlighting its promotion of women’s football – it started up the Women’s Super League, has added a second tier to the competition and girl’s and women’s football is the biggest growth area in terms of participation.