Lauren James has received a two-match ban after her straight red card vs. Nigeria She’ll only be available again if England reaches the World Cup final.
James had been one of the tournament’s breakout stars and a major member of Sarina Weigman’s side until a moment of insanity saw her kicked off in the last-16 match.
The 21-year-old stepped on Michelle Alozie’s back while the Nigerian was on the ground after a challenge in the 87th minute of Monday’s game, which England won on penalties.
After checking with the VAR, James was awarded a red card after being given a yellow. Normally, red card offenses result in a one-game suspension, however, FIFA has the authority to extend the sentence if necessary.
And the governing body’s disciplinary committee exercised that right, judging the violent conduct as enough to end her World Cup dream.
ames, who turned comments off on her Instagram profile after the incident, had been in sensational form for the Lionesses.
After three games she had been involved in the most goals of any player at a World Cup – and she did not even start the first match.
Her two goals and three assists in the 6-1 rout of China saw her become the first England player, male or female, to be involved in five goals in a game at a World Cup.
And the praise came flooding in, with her Chelsea manager Emma Hayes saying: ‘We are witnessing brilliance.’
Her dad compared her to Lionel Messi and Diego Maradona, but the winger’s excellence will no longer light up the tournament after her rush of blood to the head.
Fortunately, her team-mates dug in to reach penalties against Nigeria before securing a 4-2 triumph.
After the game, Weigman said: ‘I’ve spoken to her. I actually said [to her], “look, that happens sometimes with human beings,” that they are in such an intense game and such a high-intensity, emotional game, and in a split second she lost her emotions.
‘Of course she apologised and she felt really, really bad. Absolutely she doesn’t want to hurt anyone.
‘This was a moment, it was a split second, it was later in the game, so players also get a little tired, she’s an inexperienced player on this stage and she’s done really well.
‘I think in a split second she just lost her emotions. Of course she doesn’t want to hurt anyone, she’s the sweetest person I know.
‘Things happen like that, you can’t change it any more, it’s a huge lesson to learn but of course it’s not something she’s done on purpose.’
And the victim of the stamp, Alozie, wrote on Twitter: ‘Abeg, rest. We are playing on the world’s stage.
‘This game is one of passion, insurmountable emotions, and moments. All respect for Lauren James.’
It is a brutal lesson learned for James, who follows in the footsteps of David Beckham, who was infamously sent off for a petulant kick-out against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup, and Wayne Rooney, who saw red for a stamp on Cristiano Ronaldo in 2006.