England forward Lauren James has apologised to Super Falcons defender Michelle Alozie after she stamped on her in the round of 16 match between Nigeria and England on Monday.
Alozie on Tuesday appealed to fans to forget about the event, noting that football is a game of passion.
She wrote, “Abeg, rest. We are playing on the world stage. This game is one of passion, insurmountable emotions, and moments. All respect for Lauren James.”
Chelsea star James was sent off in the 87th minute of England’s last-16 match against Nigeria on Monday, which the Lionesses eventually won on penalties, for stamping on forward Alozie.
The 21-year-old is facing an anxious wait over whether or not she will play again this World Cup due to her red card, with FIFA yet to deliver a decision. After Alozie tweeted “all respect” to James despite her moment of madness, the winger has responded in kind.
James, while quoting Alozie’s tweets on Tuesday, said, “All my love and respect to you. I am sorry for what happened. Also, for our England fans and my teammates, playing with and for you is my greatest honour and I promise to learn from my experience.”
James was shown a red card in the 87th minute following a VAR review after a stamp on Alozie.
The PUNCH on Monday reported that the 21-year-old deactivated her comments section on her Twitter and Instagram accounts after the game.
The English Football Association have added in an official 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.”
James has scored three goals and bagged three assists in just three starts in the Women’s World Cup but she will miss their quarter-final clash against Colombia due to suspension. Players shown red cards at the World Cup are automatically banned for one match but more games can be imposed on review. James will find out her fate in the coming days.
England and James will await a final decision from FIFA before taking on Colombia in their last-eight World Cup tie in Sydney on August 12.