The 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup is well underway and the latest match was England vs Cameroon and France vs Brazil. However, the main focus was the England match against Cameroon, which got quite heated. This was mostly with regard to an incident involving England player Toni Duggan.
Phil Neville’s England went on to thrash Cameroon, 3-0, but the big talking point was the behaviour of the Cameroon team. As it turned out, cameras caught Cameroon’s Augustine Ejangue, in the number 5 jersey, spitting on England’s Toni Duggan in the number 11 jersey.
The Cameroon players were also furious, albeit for a different reason, namely two VAR decisions going against them. At one point, the Cameroon players were unwilling to restart the game and were accused of elbowing and spitting. England skipper, Steph Houghton, was even on the receiving end of a brutal tackle.
Needless to say, England manager and former Manchester United player, Phil Neville was furious and blasted the opponent for ‘underhanded tactics’. In the wake of the string of ugly incidents, several English publications did not hold back on their criticism of Cameroon. Speaking to The Daily Telegraph, the England head coach declared that Cameroon were ‘shaming the game’.
Neville said, “I am completely and utterly ashamed of the opposition. If that was my team- and it will never be any of my players- they would never play for England again, with that kind of behaviour. It did not feel like football. It was a good win, but that wasn’t a World Cup last-16 tie in terms of behaviour that I want to see from footballers.”
“I came to this World Cup to be successful, but also to play a part in making women’s football globally more visible, more successful, to put on a show that the rest of the world can see. And I sat through 90 minutes of football there and felt ashamed.”
Neville continued, “Proud of my own players’ performances, proud of my own players’ behaviour, under circumstances that I’ve never seen on a football field before, and complete and utterly ashamed of the behaviour of the opposition.”
“All those young girls who are watching back in England and all those young boys who are watching – we’ve had five, six, seven million people watching us – with that kind of behaviour. When I first started in football, Arsene Wenger told me a team mirror the manager. Obviously, their team mirrored the manager.”
While Toni Duggan was unable to get on the scoreboard, Ellen White, Steph Houghton and Alex Greenwood netted for the Lionesses. England will next face Norway on Friday in the quarterfinal.