FIFA are fast-tracking a probe into the behaviour of World Cup bad girls Cameroon.
The game’s governing body is holding a ‘priority investigation’ following the disgraceful scenes that marred England’s 3-0 last-16 victory over the African side in Valenciennes on Sunday.
Incidents including the spitting at Toni Duggan, a horror tackle on Steph Houghton, the narrowly-averted walk-off, the pushing of the referee and the Cameroon team’s conduct at both half-time and full-time will all come under the microscope.
FIFA will take into account all aspects – including comments and allegations made during the game and after it in the players’ tunnel.
The authorities need to study the reports from the officials – led by referee Liang Qin – and match commissioner Alexandro Benado before reaching a decision on what punishments to hand down.
A disciplinary committee will then be convened at the earliest possible opportunity to decide what sanctions to level.
Cameroon launched a damage limitation exercise within minutes of their elimination from the finals, with coach Alain Djeumfa claiming there had been a ‘miscarriage of justice.’
But FIFA’s initial findings support the referee, who they think followed the letter of the law in all her decisions involving VAR which so upset the Africans. They are also satisfied that the correct language was used to try to re-start the match following the delay over the VAR decisions.
Although they cannot take any retrospective action against Yvonne Leuko for her early elbow on Nikita Parris, both Augustine Ejangue and Alexandra Takounda could find themselves in hot water for incidents involving Duggan and Houghton.
Cameroon’s behaviour was also condemned by Isha Johansen, president of the women’s committee of the Confederation of African Football.
She said: “The 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.”