Lauren James breaks silence after red card

The Chelsea star was sent off during the second half of the Lionesses’ Round of 16 clash with Nigeria on Monday evening and is suspended for England’s quarter-final match on Saturday.

Lionesses star Lauren James has issued an apology for the red card she received in England’s last-16 encounter with Nigeria on Monday evening.

The Chelsea starlet was sent off in the final minutes of a tense second half against the African nation for stamping on forward Michelle Alozie following a challenge between the pair.

James, who had previously cut herself England’s inimitable creative force following a wonder goal against Denmark before starring in the 6-1 rout of China, petulantly stood on the back of her opponent after getting to her feet.

The moment of frustration epitomised a match in which James had been cleverly marked out of the game by the Super Falcons and England struggled to impart any of their expected dominance.

After initially receiving a yellow card for her actions, a swift VAR consultation resulted in an inevitable red for the forward.

The display was far from characteristic for James, who has become known for a maturity and poise in high-pressure moments that belies her tender years.

Nevertheless, a moment of madness got the better of James, who will now be forced to miss England’s crucial quarter-final clash with Colombia on Saturday.

And after the dust has settled, James has broken her silence to apologise for the incident.

Taking to Twitter, the 21-year-old quote tweeted to an earlier post from Nigeria’s 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.”

Alozie had issued a classy response to the incident on Tuesday morning, tweeting: “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.”

Seemingly comfortable with the situation, she later quote-tweeted her own post with the line: “Still a red though.”

Alozie then uploaded a photo of James’ foot on her back, with the striker almost smiling in bemusement whilst on the deck, with the caption: “Life.”

Meanwhile, the FA have announced they will plea with FIFA to ensure James’ ban does not rule her out of the remainder of the tournament.

They said in a statement: “Lauren is really sorry for her actions which led to the red card and is full of remorse. It is wholly out of character for her.

“We will be supporting Lauren throughout and will be putting forward representation on her behalf. We fully respect FIFA’s disciplinary process and will not be making any further comment until after any decision has been made.”

While England scraped through to the quarter-finals on penalties, what involvement James will have on the rest of the tournament is unclear as she awaits a decision on the length of her suspension from FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee -Mirror.

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