Lauren James slammed by England legend over Women's World Cup red card

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Lauren James slammed by England legend over Women
Lauren James slammed by England legend over Women's World Cup red card

Former England star Ellen White has insisted there was "no need" for the offence which saw Lauren James shown a red card against Nigeria.

James had starred for the Lionesses in the group stage of the Women's World Cup, but cut a frustrated figure in the round of 16. She was initially shown a yellow card after clashing with opponent Michelle Alozie, but referee Melissa Borjas upgraded it to a red following a VAR check.

The offence, in the 87th minute of the game, left England a player down for the final few minutes of the 90 and into extra-time. White, who retired from England duty in 2022, pointed to the warning signs while on punditry duty for the BBC.

Thankfully for England, though, they were able to hold firm and force extra-time and penalties despite their disadvantage. They eventually prevailed in a tense shoot-out to advance to the quarter-finals.

"It is disappointing," White said. "She was frustrated throughout the game and wasn't in the game. There was no need for it."

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Arsenal women's boss Jonas Eidevall also addressed James' demeanour before the foul while addressing the lack of substitutions from England manager Sarina Wiegman. "You could see during the game she was making some bad decisions on and off the ball," he said.

"The lack of subs from England surprised me. They should have been more proactive with the subs."

Do you agree with the reaction to Lauren James' red card? Have your say in the comments section

Lauren James slammed by England legend over Women's World Cup red cardLauren James was shown a red card following a VAR check (FIFA via Getty Images)

England made their first substitution of the game shortly after James' red card, with Chloe Kelly replacing Alessia Russo. Wiegman made a second change midway through extra-time, with Beth England brought on for Lauren Hemp as the 10 players looked to stay in the game.

"I'm really disappointed," former England defender Anita Asante said on BBC Radio 5 Live when addressing James' dismissal. "One act has kind of tarnished all the good work that Lauren James has done up until this point.

"She is a superstar and hopefully she will grow from this experience. Her team now have lost a player who has the ability to turn a game on it's head.

The Nigeria game represented the first time England's women had failed to score in 90 minutes of a World Cup or Euros game under manager Wiegman. After back-to-back 1-0 wins in their first two group games, a James-inspired performance saw them claim a 6-1 victory over China in Adelaide.

The 4-2 penalty shoot-out victory was heartbreak for Nigeria, who were hoping to become the first African nation to claim a knockout win in the tournament. As for James, she'll now have to wait to learn the length of her suspension, which could keep her out of the remainder of the competition.

Tom Victor

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