CLAIM: FIFA bans Lauren James for the rest of the tournament after the red card.
VERDICT: MISLEADING. Credible news outlets report that the England international has been suspended for only two matches in the ongoing Women’s World Cup tournament.
A Facebook user, Bem Raphael Aondongu, on Tuesday, August 8, 2023, posted that England international, Lauren James, has been banned from the ongoing Women’s World Cup tournament. He shared that Ms James was penalised with a red card for stepping on Nigerian defender Michelle Alozie in their round-of-16 encounter last Monday.
Ms James trampled on Alozie while the latter remained on the floor. The England forward stepped on her Nigerian counterpart in a goalless match that had worn on to the 87th minute.
The unprovoked encounter had immediately earned her a yellow card, and then a red after a Video Assistant Referee (VAR) check.
Consequently, the penalty meant Ms James would be excused for the remaining part of the match. It wouldn’t be allowed to participate in England’s quarter-final encounter with Columbia after winning Nigeria in a 4-2 penalty shoot-out.
The Facebook post drew in 108 likes, 33 comments and three shares as of Monday, August 14, 2023.
Facebook users in the comment section seemed to applaud the action, with some opining that the punitive measure should have been extended.
“Very good.” Floxy Nobis wrote.
“It is supposed to be for two tournaments. The act is derogatory, honestly speaking.” Jethro Asiwe reacted.
Rumours of Lauren James possibly getting a three-match ban
After a red card had been awarded to Ms James, it was rumoured that the Chelsea star’s moments at the Women’s World Cup may have ended abruptly.
Independent reported how Ms James could be “ruled out” from participating in the rest of the tournament, as she awaits a “Fifa Disciplinary panel hearing” and attributing it to the England forward’s misconduct with Nigerian defender Ms Alozie.
EUROSPORT had also reported that Ms James would miss England’s next game against Colombia in the quarter-finals and could be out for longer depending on the outcome of FIFA’s disciplinary panel hearing.
FIFA’s rules outline every principle related to handing out a red card to a player.
Specifically, Article 10.5 postulates that a player would be “suspended” from his team’s next match after he has stepped off the match he had been awarded either a direct or an indirect red card. It further accords the FIFA disciplinary committee’s power to act as it sees fit.
It also says in Article 10.6 that if a player who has received a red card cannot serve the sanctions due to his team’s elimination, or the last match of the game, the sanctions will be “carried over” according to the provisions of the Disciplinary Committee code.
Due to the uncertainty around the claim, we decided to fact-check it.
We searched Google for sanctions by the Fédération International de Football Association (FIFA). We discovered an update by Yahoo! news that the England forward has gotten only a two-match ban.
Further searches linking other news outlets revealed a sky sports report that Lauren James would miss the quarter-final and a potential semi-final of the World Cup.
Independent also corroborates that story, saying that she has been handed a two-game ban which means she will miss both Saturday’s quarter-final with Colombia and the subsequent World Cup semi-final should her teammates progress.
Reuters also quotes FIFA saying that the
“FIFA Disciplinary Committee has imposed a two-match suspension on England’s player Lauren James…” It said, “The suspension will be served for the FIFA Women’s World Cup quarter-final and the next international fixture following that.”
The claim is misleading. Recent media reports indicate that Ms James will only serve a two-match ban given to her by the FIFA disciplinary committee.