England’s Lauren James is set to be absent from the quarter-final and a potential semi-final of the World Cup due to a two-match ban imposed by FIFA.
The ban comes after James received a red card for stepping on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie during England’s last-16 triumph. Following a VAR review, her initial yellow card was upgraded. This marks the first time a Lioness under Sarina Wiegman’s leadership has been sent off.
As clearly spelt out in the FIFA regulations, a single-game ban is automatic, leading to James missing the quarter-final against Colombia.
However, the suspension has been extended, resulting in her absence from a potential semi-final too. James expressed regret on social media after Alozie responded to the incident, and she pledged to learn from the experience.
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The episode drew parallels to the red cards of David Beckham and Wayne Rooney in previous World Cups. The young standout and tournament player of the year were both halted by impulsive actions.
England’s manager, Sarina Wiegman, noted that while James’ emotions got the best of her, the incident wasn’t intentional. Wiegman highlighted that in the intensity of the game, such split-second decisions can occur, emphasizing that James did not intend to harm anyone.