Lionesses issue statement regarding Lauren James’ red card after stamping on Nigeria keeper
The length of her punishment has now been decided.
The Lionesses have issued a statement responding to Lauren James’ red card this past Monday after she stamped on Nigeria player, Michelle Alozie.
James had been one of the England women’s team‘s best players all tournament, registering three goals and three assists in as many games during the 2023 Women’s World Cup, but suffered a rare moment of madness when she decided to stamp on her opponent while on the ground.
Sarina Wiegman’s side went on to win the game 4-2 on penalties but very nearly could have been knocked out after being reduced to 10 players, with many comparing the ‘unacceptable’ and ‘foolish’ act to David Beckham’s back in 1998.
While little had come out from the England camp following the incident, the team has now issued a full statement, expressing Lauren‘s regret and assuring that they would accept whatever punishment FIFA ultimately hands down.
“Lauren is really sorry for her actions which led to the red card and is full of remorse. It is wholly out of character for her”, said the England women’s team.
“We will be supporting Lauren throughout and will be putting forward representation on her behalf. We fully respect FIFA‘s disciplinary process and will not be making any further comment until after any decision has been made.”
The England and Chelsea star, 21, was already been banned for the next game against Colombia in the quarter-finals on Saturday, 12 August at 11:30, but it has not been confirmed that she has been issued with a two-match ban, meaning she will miss the quarters and semi-final.
If handed a three-match ban, it would see her miss the rest of the World Cup and the Lionesses will be without one of their best players. As for James herself, she apologised directly to the Nigerian international, who gave an admirable measured and reasonable response considering the circumstances.
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The WSL forward assured that she is “sorry what happened” and promises to “learn from the experience”.
Whether or not England will make it all the way to the final for her make one last appearance in this tournament, especially following the Lionesses’ own condemnation of the behaviour, remains to be seen.
All they can do is put it behind them and know that the country is well and truly behind them. Either way, we believe — it’s coming home.
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Featured Image — Lionesses/Lauren James/BBC Sports (via Twitter)