Football

England manager Phil Neville ‘ashamed’ of Cameroon’s behaviour

CAF says it will be opening enquiry over scenes in World Cup last-16 clash

England coach Phil Neville said he was left "utterly ashamed" by the behaviour of the Cameroon players which overshadowed a 3-0 England victory at the women's World Cup on Sunday.

Goals from captain Steph Houghton, Ellen White and Alex Greenwood in Valenciennes took England through to the quarter-finals, where they will play Norway on Friday morning (Singapore time).

However, the last-16 tie will be best remembered for the Cameroon players' furious response to several refereeing decisions, which included them apparently threatening to walk off the pitch at one point.

"I sat through the 90 minutes of football there and felt ashamed - proud of my own players' behaviour under circumstances that I've never seen on a football field before, and completely and utterly ashamed of the behaviour of the opposition," railed Neville.

"It takes you back to the times when you were a kid, and you lost and you went home crying with your ball."

Neville was also unhappy at the challenge on Houghton by Alexandra Takounda late in the game which left his captain with an ankle injury, and he also said striker Toni Duggan was spat at in the first half.

Meanwhile, Cameroon coach Alain Djeumfa said his team had been the victims of an "injustice", and they were certainly hard done by at the manner in which England's opening goal came about in the 14th minute.

It came from a free-kick awarded in the box when goalkeeper Annette Ngo Ndom picked up what was adjudged to have been a back-pass.

Their anger reached boiling point when White's goal to make it 2-0 in first-half stoppage time was initially disallowed for offside, before being awarded after Chinese referee Qin Liang consulted the video assistant referee (VAR).

Their players surrounded the referee, pointing to the big screen replays of the goal and seemingly threatening to walk off the pitch.

Further confusion came just three minutes after the restart, when Cameroon thought they had pulled a goal back to make it 2-1, but Ajara Nchout's effort was eventually disallowed for offside after the referee had again consulted the VAR.

"We came back to 2-1 and again the goal was disallowed by the VAR. I think if that goal had stood we would have had a different outcome," said Djeumfa, who refuted suggestions his players threatened to walk off.

"VAR should be for everyone but we get the impression that they are against the African countries and it is shameful for a World Cup," fumed the Cameroon midfielder Raissa Feudjio.

Isha Johansen, the chair of the women's football committee for the African Football Confederation (CAF) said her body will be opening an inquiry.

She said: "Yesterday's match between England and Cameroon reflected badly, not only on African women's football, but African football on the whole.

"It is an issue which will be addressed and dealt with at the appropriate levels of governance." - AFP, REUTERS

Football