England star Lucy Bronze expressed her dissatisfaction with the referee following England’s Women’s World Cup win over China, snubbing a handshake with the official and taking a dig at her.
The Lionesses secured a 6-1 victory against the Asian champions, earning their place in the Women’s World Cup last 16.
However, Bronze raised concerns about being flagged offside in the build-up to a disallowed goal for Lauren James and receiving a penalty against her for handball in the second half, which affected England’s clean sheet and resulted in her receiving a booking from referee Casey Reibelt. At the end of the match, footage showed Bronze apparently rejecting a handshake from Reibelt.
Lucy Bronze explains the reasons behind her snub of the referee against China
“[I’m] sad for LJ because I don’t know why it’s been called for offside,” she told reporters. “I said that to the referee, ‘I don’t know why you’ve given me offside’. Personally I had more go against me than anyone else. It wasn’t a fun game in that respect, the referee for me. So, I was quite disappointed with that game to come off with that performance. The most important thing is we won, we’re through to the next game, no one else got injured.
“I knew [the ball] hit my hand [for the penalty] but it wasn’t deliberate. Unless I cut my arm off I don’t know how I get my arm out the way. If I was trying to hit the ball away I would have hit my hand in the air. I knew it wasn’t deliberate but I guess she just wanted to give me a yellow card for fun.
“Playing for England you tend to know that sometimes decisions don’t go your way and luckily enough for us we finished the game off ourselves. I do think LJ’s goal should have stood, she should have had a hat-trick, it would have been a huge moment for her, in her first World Cup to score a hat-trick for England.”
Throughout the evening in Adelaide, England remained comfortable despite some controversial decisions. They got off to a quick start, with Alessia Russo breaking the deadlock after just four minutes.
By the end of the match, Lauren James, Lauren Hemp, Chloe Kelly, and Rachel Daly had all scored, securing a comprehensive victory for the Lionesses in Group D. With this result, they topped the group and will now face Nigeria in the last 16.