Lauren James has apologised for the red card she received after stamping on the back of Nigeria’s player Michelle Alozie, in the Lionesses’ last-16 match.
Lauren James was sent off for a reckless red card against Nigeria and will miss England’s quarter-final against Colombia; her ban could still be extended by FIFA if England progress further in the tournament.
According to the head coach of the England Women’s National team, Sarina Wiegman, the 21-year-old footballer “lost her emotions” when she made a reckless challenge on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie, which involved stamping on Alozie’s back as the two tried to get up from a tussle.
“All my love and respect to you. I am sorry for what happened,” James said on social media, replying to a message from 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”, she added.
But England boss Wiegman says despite emotions getting the better of the 21-year-old, James never intended for the incident to happen.
“It was a moment of a split-second and it was later in the game so players also get a little tired. She is an inexperienced player on this stage and has done really well,” she said.
“And I think, in a split-second, she just lost her emotions. And, of course, she does not want to hurt anyone. She is the sweetest person I know.
“Yet then things happen like that and you cannot change it any more. So it is a huge lesson for her to learn, but it is not something that she really did on purpose.
“It happens sometimes with human beings – that you are in such an intense game, such an emotional game and, in a split-second, she lost her emotions.
“She apologised and she felt really, really bad and absolutely she does not want to hurt anyone” Wiegman added.