England vs Cameroon: VAR decisions see Women’s World Cup last-16 match descend into chaos

Cameroon had a disallowed goal against them reinstated by VAR before seeing one of their own ruled out that triggered a furious response, protests, a refusal to play and accusations of racism

Jack de Menezes
Sunday 23 June 2019 17:58
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Women's World Cup: England train ahead of last-16 match

England 's World Cup last-16 clash with Cameroon descended into chaos after three key decisions lead to protests and emotional rows from the African side.

England took a 2-0 lead into half-time thanks to goals from captain Steph Houghton and striker Ellen White, but both came with their fair share of controversy.

The opener came via an in-direct free-kick, awarded by referee Liang Qin after she judged Augustine Ejangue to have passed the ball back to goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom, with Houghton smashing home a Toni Duggan lay-off from six yards out.

The rest of the half saw England dominate until White was put through by Lucy Bronze to calmly slot the ball past Ngo Ndom, only for Qin to rule the goal out after a late offside flag was raised, but the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) intervened and ruled that White was onside by a good margin.

The decision infuriated the Cameroonian players, who then refused to take the restart as they argued with the referee, between themselves and with their head coach Alain Djeumfa.

Eventually, play resumed for the final seconds of the half, but upon the end of the first period the Cameroon player refused to leave the field and held a team huddle in the middle of the pitch before making their way down the tunnel to their dressing room, where it was reported by the BBC that they had accused Fifa of racism in making their decisions.

The Cameroon players refused to kick-off after Ellen White's goal was allowed

Worse was to follow after the resumption when Ajara Nchout thought she had clawed a goal back for her side, only to have it ruled out by VAR when teammate and captain Gabrielle Onguene was just ruled offside in the build-up to the goal.

Cameroon players remonstrate with the referee (Reuters)

The ruling triggered a furious response from the Cameroon players, with Nchout in particular raging at the officials and pointing at the big screen in a refusal to accept the VAR decision, having already burst into tears as teammates tried to console her.

Cameroon's Ajara Nchoutreacted furiously to having her goal ruled out

Djeumfa appeared at a loss at what to do, with the coach pleading for the players to continue playing along with Onguene, and after a lengthy stoppage the game eventually resumed where England bagged themselves a third goal through Alex Greenwood.

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