FIFA told ESPN that James’ fate will be decided in due course, but the 21-year-old will definitely miss the Lionesses’ quarterfinal game against Colombia or Jamaica on Saturday.
Manager Sarina Wiegman said James will learn from her red card and praised the mentality of the team.
James was shown a red card in the 87th minute after she deliberately stepped on Michelle Alozie who was the floor at the time. James was first shown a yellow card, but then issued a red after the referee consulted VAR.
The red card meant England played the entirety of extra time with 10 players but still managed to find a way through, winning 4-2 on penalties.
“It was a moment that was in a split-second,” Wiegman said of James. “It was later in the game so players get a little tired. She is inexperienced on this stage and in a split-second lost her emotions. She would never want to hurt someone, she is the sweetest person I know.”
Wiegman added: “Things happen, you can’t change it. It’s a huge lesson for her to learn but isn’t something she did on purpose.”
Rachel Daly said James was “disappointed” and “upset.”
“She’s a young player people forget that, they put a lot of pressure on her on the outside, media, everyone puts a lot of pressure on the kid, she’s a young girl, she’s got a lot to learn and she knows that,” Daly said.
“But ultimately it’s a team game, she’s been excellent for us and course, [we’ll] put an arm round her, help her through it and she’ll learn from it. She’s a fantastic player with a bright future ahead of her.”
Nigeria hit the bar twice but failed to find a breakthrough against an England side who had Keira Walsh starting just 10 days after she suffered the knee injury against Denmark. It’s been a turbulent tournament for England, with the Walsh injury and James’ red card and Wiegman says it’s a case of looking for solutions when problems arise.
“I’ve never experienced so many problems,” Wiegman said. “[But] that’s my job, to think of things that can happen in a game, in a tournament. You try to turn every stone and think of a solution already if things happen. We got totally tested today.
“We have had many set backs. I’m proud of the team. Lauren James was sent off we re-organised straightaway. We didn’t need more than a minute to do so. Players were tired but we showed a lot of resilience, then to go into a penalty shoot-out and do so well, it was incredible.”