Lauren James has been handed a two-game ban by Fifa after being sent off during England’s last-16 win over Nigeria, meaning she will miss both Saturday’s quarter-final with Colombia and the subsequent World Cup semi-final should her teammates progress.
James was shown a red card after standing on Nigeria defender Michelle Alozie during the knockout game, which England won via a penalty shootout.
The Chelsea forward was given an automatic one-match suspension and feared being ruled out of the tournament altogether, with Fifa typically increasing cases of “violent conduct” to a three-game ban. However, the governing body’s disciplinary committee showed some leniency and James could now return for the World Cup final, should England make it to the showpiece on Sunday 20 August in Sydney.
James had apologised for the incident, posting in response to a tweet from Alozie: “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 became the fourth England player to be sent off in a World Cup knockout match after David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and current Lionesses captain Millie Bright.—AFP