Lauren James has been handed a two-match ban following her red card in England’s World Cup win over Nigeria.
The Chelsea star was dismissed late in the second half for stamping on Nigeria forward Michelle Alozie following an altercation.
FIFA said in a statement: “The FIFA Disciplinary Committee has imposed a two-match suspension on England’s player Lauren James following a violation of article 14 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code at the FIFA Women’s World Cup match England v Nigeria.
“The suspension will be served for the Women’s World Cup quarter-final and the next international fixture following that.”
England’s Lauren James is sent off after a VAR review (Zac Goodwin/PA)
It means James will be available for the tournament final should England progress that far.
James already knew she would miss Saturday’s quarter-final against Colombia following her red card in the game, which England won on penalties.
But fears she could be automatically ruled out for the rest of the tournament could prove unfounded if Sarina Wiegman’s side make it all the way to the final.
Conceivably James, who apologised in the wake of the incident and has been publicly backed by Wiegman, would be available to return in the prospective August 20 showpiece in Sydney.
Lauren James could still make a dramatic return to the England fold (Isabel Infantes/PA)
England described the incident as “wholly out of character” for James and it is understood they made representations on the 21-year-old’s behalf during the disciplinary process.
The FA said it had “nothing more to add” following confirmation of the sanction facing James, who became the fourth England player to be sent off in a World Cup knockout match after David Beckham, Wayne Rooney and Millie Bright.
Opponent Alozie tweeted in defence of James, writing: “Abeg, rest. We are playing on the world’s stage. This game is one of passion, insurmountable emotions, and moments. All respect for Lauren James.”