Lauren James Did Not Reach Me Privately After Stomping Incident, Says Alozie

Nigeria’s defender #22 Michelle Alozie (lower) reacts after being fouled by England’s forward #07 Lauren James during the Australia and New Zealand 2023 Women’s World Cup round of 16 football match between England and Nigeria at Brisbane Stadium in Brisbane on August 7, 2023. (Photo by Patrick Hamilton / AFP)

Michelle Alozie of the Super Falcons claims that, contrary to popular belief, English forward Lauren James did not personally contact her during a stomping incident during Nigeria’s loss to the Lionesses at the just concluded FIFA Women’s World Cup.

The Chelsea forward stepped on the defender during the round of 16 match, which the Super Falcons lost 4-2 on penalties after normal and extra time finished in a stalemate. Lauren received a red card and a two-game suspension for her actions.

While the event gained widespread attention both within and outside Nigeria, with the English star later apologizing on social media, Alozie stated that, contrary to popular belief, the Chelsea footballer did not contact her directly.

“No, she did not reach out to me but the apology was on Twitter and Instagram,” the Houston Dash star said on Channels Television’s Sports Tonight on Monday.

‘Kind of Funny’

Since the incident, Alozie’s photos have become regular memes for many social media users, a development she described as “funny”.

“I think it was kind of funny how it all came about. After the game, obviously, I was really upset and wasn’t really looking at my phone,” Alozie, who was featuring in her debut World Cup, said. “So, some of my teammates were like ‘Michelle, you have to see this photo of you maybe it would make you smile a little bit’ because I was kind of upset.”

Despite the bonus row that marred Nigeria’s preparations for the tournament with many fans dismissing their chances, the Super Falcons reached a second consecutive knockouts outing at the World Cup.

“We did not let the media define anything,” she said when asked how Coach Randy Waldrum’s girls left the tournament without losing a game in open play.

Nigeria’s stellar showing in the competition drew applause from many with FIFA rating them as the number seven team in the tournament.

Alozie believes the performance will serve as a launch pad for the further development of women’s football in Nigeria. She said featuring at the World Cup was a childhood dream come true.

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