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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 July 2019

Fifa to look at Cameroon’s behaviour in 2019 Fifa Women's World Cup defeat against England

Players protest refereeing decisions and twice delay last-16 game while appearing to consider refusing to finish match
England manager Phil Neville, left, has heavily criticised the behaviour of his side’s opponents. Marc Atkins / Getty Images

Cameroon face an inquiry and possible disciplinary action ­after a series of incidents during their 3-0 defeat by England in the last 16 of the Fifa Women’s World Cup.

Cameroon players angrily protested refereeing decisions and twice delayed the game while appearing to consider refusing to finish the match at one point on Sunday.

After England’s second goal by Ellen White at the end of the first half was initially ruled out for offside then, rightly, allowed via VAR, several Cameroon players remonstrated with referee Qin Liang. They furiously pointed to the screen in stadium which showed the replay and for a long time refused to restart the match.

The ill-tempered game also included an incident where Cameroon defender Augustine Ejangue is alleged to have spat on the arm of England forward Toni Duggan.

Yvonne Leuko was booked for an apparent elbow on winger Nikita Parris and Alexandra Takounda was lucky to escape with a yellow card for a terrible late challenge on captain Steph Houghton in stoppage time.

Fifa has said they are “looking into” Cameroon’s behaviour while Isha Johansen, chair of the women’s football committee for the African Football Confederation (Caf), said her body will be opening an inquiry.

“Whilst remaining proud of our African teams that participated in the Fifa Women’s World Cup, [Sunday’s] match between England and Cameroon reflected badly, not only on African women’s football but African football on the whole,” said Johansen, who is also president of the Sierra Leone Football Association.

“We take the collective blame, but at the same time, without sounding like we are condoning what happened, I think it’s all about now actually understanding why it happened.

“These are the issues that I think CAF has got to address and will address, clearly so we can avoid the same mistakes happening.”

England manager Phil Neville has heavily criticised the behaviour of his side’s opponents.

“I am completely and utterly ashamed of the opposition,” the former Manchester United and England player said. "If that was my team – and it will never be any of my players – they would never play for England again.

"Those images are going out worldwide about how to act, the young girls playing all over the world that are seeing that behaviour. For me, it’s not right.”

Cameroon manager Alain Djeumfa pointed the finger at the referee, calling defeat a “miscarriage of justice”.

“Occasionally referees make mistakes, but ultimately the referee made a lot of mistakes tonight,” Djeumfa said. “Occasionally, when you are in this state of shock, you can lose your cool, but I don’t think the players ever refused to play the game.

“Yes, we might have had the moment to walk off, but thanks to God I was able to remain calm. I was ultimately able to keep my cool. Ultimately, there was a lot of passion out there.

“The girls perhaps just lost a bit of temper. But I think we need to take our hat off to the girls, despite the refereeing mistake, for their performance.”

Updated: June 24, 2019 09:57 PM