FIFA has imposed a two-game suspension on England’s forward, Lauren James, following her direct red card during the match against Nigeria in the last 16 of the ongoing Women’s World Cup.
The suspension comes as a result of an incident in which she stepped on Nigerian player Michelle Alozie.
During the 87th minute of the match, James pushed down on Alozie’s back and stamped on her while Alozie was on the ground due to a challenge.
Initially given a yellow card, James later received a red card after a review by the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).
The 21-year-old Chelsea attacker’s suspension means that she will be absent from England’s upcoming quarter-final clash against Colombia in Sydney on Saturday, and if England advances to the semi-finals, James will also miss that match.
However, there’s a chance for James and the Lionesses, as she would be eligible to return to the lineup should the team make it to the highly anticipated final, scheduled for August 20.
After the match, James turned to Twitter to apologize to Alozie regarding the incident.
She wrote, “All my love and respect to you. I am sorry for what happened. Also, for our England fans and my teammates, playing with and for you is my greatest honour and I promise to learn from my experience.”
The England team also contributed their perspective on the matter, issuing an official statement to acknowledge and address the incident.
The statement highlighted that James’s actions leading to the red card were entirely out of character for her, emphasizing her genuine regret and remorse for the incident.
It read, “Lauren is really sorry for her actions which led to the red card, and is full of remorse.”