FIFA to investigate Cameroon's behaviour in England clash

FIFA are investigating the behaviour of Cameroon’s players during Sunday’s 3-0 defeat to England at the Women’s World Cup.

Football’s governing body is looking into events in Valenciennes, where Cameroon’s players appeared to initially refuse to play after protesting the result of two VAR reviews.

The investigation opened Monday with FIFA reportedly keen for it to be concluded within 48 hours.

The Cameroon players were outraged when Ellen White’s first-half goal, England’s second of the game, was allowed after replays showed the striker was onside having initially been flagged by the assistant referee.

Ajara Nchout was devastated by the outcome of two VAR reviews. (Credit: Getty Images)

And the Cameroonians were incensed when Ajara Nchout’s goal early in the second half, which would have made the score 2-1, was ruled out for offside following a review.

Both players and staff were outraged - with Nchout reduced to tears - and, for a second time, Cameroon’s players appeared to be considering not restarting the match.

The Telegraph has since reported that match referee Qin Liang overruled two further decisions by the video assistant referee for fear England’s opponents would leave the pitch.

READ MORE: England 3-0 Cameroon: Lionesses win chaotic World Cup tie to reach quarter-finals

READ MORE: Cameroon boss slams ‘miscarriage of justice’

England coach Phil Neville celebrate with his players at the end of the match. (Photo by Pier Marco Tacca/Getty Images)
Toni Duggan of England shows referee Qin Liang phlegm on her arm after she is spat on by Augustine Ejangue. (Photo by Charlotte Wilson/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

A spokesperson for FIFA said: “Please note that Fifa is currently looking into the matter at this stage.

“Further updates will be provided in due course.”

The game, which furious England manager Phil Neville said ‘didn’t feel like football’, was mired in controversy.

Toni Duggan appeared to be spat on by Augustine Ejangue in the build up to England’s first goal, while Yvonne Leuko was only booked for an apparent elbow on former Manchester City star Nikita Parris early in the match.

And, in final minute of added time at the end of the second half, Alexandra Takounda’s late tackle on Steph Houghton was punished with just a yellow card, while Cameroon captain Gabrielle Onguene her England counterpart while she was on the floor injured.

READ MORE: ‘It didn’t feel like football’ - Neville fumes after England win

Cameroon Head Coach Alain Djeumfa reacts among his players after a VAR decision goes against them. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Nikita Parris reacts after being elbowed in the face. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Liang’s performance - rated as ‘good’ in the FIFA report - was praised, with “every decision and the use of VAR correct, using the protocols”, according to the Telegraph.

Isha Johansen, chair of African Football Confederation’s (CAF) women’s committee, added the events ‘reflected badly’ on African football.

She said in a statement: “Whilst remaining proud of our African teams that participated in the World Cup, the match between England and Cameroon reflected badly, not only on African women’s football but African football on the whole.

“It is an issue which will be addressed and dealt with at the appropriate levels of governance.”

FIFA rules ordinarily ensure the referee’s on-field decisions are final. In this instance, though, the foul on Houghton could be punished as retrospective action can be taken where “serious infringement which have escaped the match officials’ attention”, “to rectify obvious errors in the referee’s disciplinary decisions” or “extend the duration of a match suspension incurred automatically by an expulsion [... or] pronounce additional sanctions, such as a fine.”

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