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Lauren James’ stomp on Nigeria player is Women’s World Cup most controversial moment

The English forward lost her cool and put herself at the center of the Women’s World Cup’s most infamous moment.

England v Nigeria: Round of 16 - FIFA Women’s World Cup Australia & New Zealand 2023 Photo by Elsa - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

England forward Lauren James has come under fire for stepping on Nigerian forward Michelle Alozie during the Lionesses Round of 16 victory over Nigeria.

James was given a red card and sent off from the match due to the stomp, which you can see happen at around the 2:38 mark.

FIFA hasn’t come down with a suspension yet, but the minimum would be one game, but at most she’d miss three games, knocking her out of the tournament for England. James could potentially miss out on the rest of the tournament.

James is one of the best young footballers left in the entire tournament. Since 2017, she’s scored 28 goals across 69 appearances for Arsenal, Manchester United and currently Chelsea and most recently won Young Player of the Year at the Women’s Football Awards. She’s also scored 11 goals in international play across U17, U19 and top competition. Having her on the field and properly engaged will be key for England’s hopes of winning the World Cup.

After the match, English manager Sarina Weigman spoke about James’ stomp, and the potential ramifications of the action. Weigman said, via The Guardian, that James “lost her emotion” in a split second, and blamed it on James’ inexperience in World Cup play that led to her stomping on Alozie. “Of course she [James] doesn’t want to hurt anybody,” Weigman said. “She’s the sweetest person I know.”

Britain will be moving on after defeating Nigeria in a penalty shootout, but without James the road gets rockier. The Lionesses will face the winner of the Colombia-Jamaica match on Saturday in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.