June 23, 2019
Phil Neville was left furious with Cameroon for the way they conducted themselves during England’s 3-0 triumph in the Women’s World Cup round of 16.
England boss Phil Neville blasts Cameroon after VAR controversy at Womens World Cup
This should have been a match where Neville praised his players for cruising into the quarter-finals, but instead it the losing side that took the headlines.
The drama started not long after the first whistle when Nikita Parris looked like she was elbowed by Yvonne Leuko. There was no use of VAR here, but the offender was booked.
Not long after Toni Duggan appeared to be spat on by Augustine Ejangue, although it must be said it seemed unintentional.
Steph Houghton gave the Lionesses the lead from a well worked indirect free kick, Ellen White got her fourth World Cup goal on the stroke of half-time.
The goal was at first chalked off but VAR checks ensure it stood to the dismay of Cameroon. Their players were so furious after watching the replay on the big screen, they refused to play causing a delay to the restart.
Cameroon’s star player Ajara Nchout thought she’d pulled one back after half-time by Gabrielle Onguene was adjudged to have been offside in the build up by VAR.
This made the African side even angrier, as tempers boiled over.
Alexandra Takounda left a late challenge on Houghton and could have easily seen red for scraping her studs down her opponent’s ankle.
England boss Neville was not happy after the contest despite reaching the quarter-finals where they will face Norway in Le Havre.
England boss Phil Neville blasts Cameroon after VAR controversy at Womens World Cup
“It didn’t feel like football, I’ve got to be honest,” he told the BBC.
“I know we get these briefs about coming on TV and saying it was a good win.
“We played okay, we passed the ball well, we were ruthless in attack and we are ready to play in the quarter-final.
“But I’ve got to say that wasn’t football for me. That wasn’t a World Cup last 16 in terms of the behaviour I want to see from footballers.”
The former Manchester United and Everton player clearly felt aggrieved at the way Cameroon conducted themselves, claiming it damaged the image of the women’s game.
“This is going out worldwide, I can’t stand here and say I particularly enjoyed it,” he added.
“The players didn’t enjoy it, at half-time they were confused about the actions and what to do. They kept the concentration fantastic, and this is going out worldwide about how to act.
“The young girls that are seeing that behaviour, for me it’s not right.
“I can’t stand here and say ‘it’s brilliant, it’s fantastic, we’re into the last 16’, there is a bigger picture here and a certain standard of behaviour that you’ve got to do. My players did that, and I am proud.”
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