England’s Women’s World Cup hopes were given a huge blow on Thursday as midfielder Lauren James was given a two-game ban for stepping on Nigeria’s Michelle Alozie.
James was handed a red card over the incident and England later won on penalties. She will miss the quarterfinal match against Colombia on Saturday and potentially the semifinals if the Lionesses can win.
James apologized in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
“All my love and respect to you. I am sorry for what happened,” James wrote on X in response to Alozie.
“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 wrote she had “all respect” for James even after the ordeal.
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The incident occurred in the 87th minute of the match. James and Alozie collided going for the ball. As Alozie lay on the ground, James stepped on her back.
England’s Beth England said James was disappointed over the ordeal.
“Obviously, she’s disappointed with what happened on the day,” England said. “It was a split second, emotional moment that happened. We’ve got around her. It is good that she’s acknowledged that and put her apology out, and now we just wait to see what FIFA [will] do, and we just move on from it now.”
England and Colombia are set for a 6:30 a.m. ET fixture. The match can be seen on FOX.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.