Tuesday , September 26 2023
Lauren James, sent off for stepping on a Nigerian opponent, has copped a two-game World Cup ban. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

England’s Lauren James handed two-game ban for stepping on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie

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Lauren James has been handed a two-game ban by FIFA following her red card in England’s win over Nigeria on penalties at the Women’s World Cup.

James was sent off in the second half of the Lionesses‘ narrow victory in the last-16 on Monday. The Chelsea forward stood on Michelle Alozie in frustration in the 87th minute of the match.

England progressed on penalties after a 0-0 draw and will face Colombia in the quarter-finals on Saturday. James was always going to miss that game and could have been banned for three matches if her foul was deemed violent conduct, meaning her World Cup was over.

But FIFA’s judgement means she would be free to play in the final, should England progress.

James has already apologised for her behaviour. The 21-year-old quote tweeted to an earlier post from Nigeria’s Alozie and added: “All my love and respect to you. I am sorry for what happened.

“Also, for our England fans and my team-mates, playing with and for you is my greatest honour and I promise to learn from my experience.”

Alozie had issued a classy response to the incident on Tuesday morning, tweeting: “Abeg, rest. We are playing on the world’s stage. This game is one of passion, insurmountable emotions, and moments. All respect for Lauren James.”

“It was a moment of a split-second and it was later in the game so players also get a little tired. She is an inexperienced player on this stage and has done really well,” Wiegman said of the red card incident.

“And I think, in a split-second, she just lost her emotions. And, of course, she does not want to hurt anyone. She is the sweetest person I know.

“Yet then things happen like that and you cannot change it any more. So it is a huge lesson for her to learn, but it is not something that she really did on purpose.

“It happens sometimes with human beings – that you are in such an intense game, such an emotional game and, in a split-second, she lost her emotions.”

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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