England’s Women’s World Cup hopes take major hit as Lauren James receives 2-game ban for stepping on player

Lauren James2

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England’s Women’s World Cup hopes were given a huge blow on Thursday as midfielder Lauren James was given a two-game ban for stepping on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie.

James was handed a red card over the incident and England later won on penalties. She will miss the quarterfinal match against Colombia on Saturday and potentially the semifinals if the Lionesses can win.

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Lauren James vs Nigeria

Lauren James of England is shown during the Women’s World Cup Round of 16 match against Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023, in Brisbane, Australia. (Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

James apologized in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“All my love and respect to you. I am sorry for what happened,” James wrote on X in response to Alozie.

“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.”

Alozie wrote she had “all respect” for James even after the ordeal.

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Lauren James pushes Michelle Alozie

Lauren James of England pushes on Michelle Alozie of Nigeria, leading to a red card, during the Women’s World Cup Round of 16 match at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023, in Brisbane, Australia. (Elsa – FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images)

The incident occurred in the 87th minute of the match. James and Alozie collided going for the ball. As Alozie lay on the ground, James stepped on her back.

England’s Beth England said James was disappointed over the ordeal.

“Obviously, she’s disappointed with what happened on the day,” England said. “It was a split second, emotional moment that happened. We’ve got around her. It is good that she’s acknowledged that and put her apology out, and now we just wait to see what FIFA [will] do, and we just move on from it now.”

Lauren James gets a red card

The big screen shows a red card for England’s Lauren James during the Women’s World Cup Round of 16 match at Brisbane Stadium on August 7, 2023, in Brisbane, Australia. (Zac Goodwin/PA Images via Getty Images)

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England and Colombia are set for a 6:30 a.m. ET fixture. The match can be seen on FOX.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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