'I'm sorry': Heartbroken England star Lauren James apologises for Women's World Cup red card shame as FA to appeal

8 August 2023, 14:47

Lauren James apologies for Women's World Cup red card
Lauren James apologies for Women's World Cup red card. Picture: Alamy

By StephenRigley

England star Lauren James has vowed to "learn" from her sending off as she apologised for stamping on a Nigerian player's back during Monday's last 16-match.

The Chelsea star was sent off in the final minutes of a tense second half against the African nation for stamping on Nigeria's Michelle Alozie after struggling to make an impact in the game.

James, 21, has been suspended from England's quarter final clash on Saturday against Colombia - and could miss out on the entire tournament if a FIFA disciplinary panel decided to extend her ban to three matches.

Lauren James was sent off for stamping on a Nigerian player during Women's World Cup game against Nigeria
Lauren James was sent off for stamping on a Nigerian player during Women's World Cup game against Nigeria. Picture: Alamy

The striker now faces an anxious wait over whether her World Cup dream is over with FIFA yet to make a decision on the length of her suspension following yesterday's incident.

Players shown red cards at the tournament are automatically banned for one-game but more matches can be imposed on review. FA bosses will appeal to FIFA on James's behalf.

Read More: England's Lionesses through to World Cup quarter finals after beating Nigeria on penalties despite red card

Read More: England's Lionesses storm into World Cup last 16 after thrashing China

Alozie had tweeted "all respect to Lauren James" earlier on Tuesday after appearing to forgive the under-fire forward for the incident, adding "we are playing on the world's stage, this game is one of passion, insurmountable emotions, and moments". 

Breaking her silence following the foul, James replied to Alozie's post and tweeted: "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."

James's manager Sarina Wiegman chose not to criticise the player in the immediate aftermath of England's win.

The Lionesses' boss said: "She’s an inexperienced player on this stage and has done really well, and I think in a split second she just lost her emotions."

Thankfully for England the red card didn't cost them their place in the tournament, with the Lionesses advancing after a 4-2 win on penalties following a 0-0 draw after extra-time.

Chloe Kelly was once again the hero for the European Champions, smashing home the vital penalty.Without James, England will face Colombia in Sydney in the quarter-finals on Saturday for a place in the last four.

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