By Simon Evans
(Reuters) – Cameroon face an inquiry and possible disciplinary action from soccer authorities after a 3-0 loss to England in the last 16 of the women’s World Cup on Sunday when they reacted furiously to two VAR decisions, initially refusing to restart the game.
After England’s second goal was ruled offside then allowed after a VAR review, several Cameroon players remonstrated with the referee and for a long time refused to restart the match.
They thought they had pulled a goal back early in the second half, only for VAR to again rule against them for a marginal offside – sparking more chaotic scenes.
The ill-tempered contest, which involved strong challenges throughout and an horrific tackle on England’s Steph Houghton, also saw an incident where Cameroon defender Augustine Ejangue spat on the arm of England forward Toni Duggan.
A spokesperson for soccer’s world governing body said on Monday: “FIFA is currently looking into the matter at this stage”.
FIFA’s disciplinary body is likely to examine some of the incidents as part of its routine review of matches, while Isha Johansen, chair of the women’s football committee for the African Football Confederation (CAF), said her body will open an inquiry.
“Whilst remaining proud of our African teams that participated in the FIFA Women’s World Cup, yesterday’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 FA.
“It is an issue which will be addressed and dealt with at the appropriate levels of governance,” she added in a statement.
England manager Phil Neville has heavily criticized the behavior of his side’s opponents.
“I am completely and utterly ashamed of the opposition,” said the former Manchester United player.
“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 behavior. For me, it’s not right,” he added.
Cameroon coach Alain Djeumfa pointed the finger at the referee, calling the defeat a “miscarriage of justice”.
(Reporting by Simon Evans; Editing by Christian Radnedge and Ken Ferris)