'I think my players were examples' - Cameroon boss denies team are bad role models

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The African side's head coach was responding to condemnation of his players' actions during a controversial Women's World Cup defeat to England

Cameroon Women’s team head coach Alain Djeumfa has refused to criticise his players amidst controversy surrounding the Indominable Lionesses behaviour in their World Cup game against England.

The Cameroon side reacted angrily to England’s second goal in a 3-0 win, scored by Ellen White. White was adjudged offside but VAR overturned that decision, prompting complaints from Djeumfa’s players and a meeting on the half way line before they’d take the ensuing kick-off.

Early in the second period Cameroon thought they had scored, only to see Ajara Nchout’s effort marked off for a marginal offside, again by VAR. Some players were in tears and there was a lengthy delay as they argued on the touchline.

Despite widespread condemnation of their actions, Djeumfa insisted they’d acted properly.

“I think that’s wrong, I think that’s your feeling,” he said at a press conference when asked if his team were bad role models.

“Ultimately I think my players were examples, and occasionally when you are in a state of shock you can lose your cool. I don’t think the players refused and I think they showed professionalism.”

Djeumfa was asked where he thought the game went wrong.

He claimed that England’s first goal, scored from an indirect free-kick six yards out by Steph Houghton after a back-pass, was the catalyst for his players' feelings, but again praised their efforts, while condemning the officials.

“Once we conceded the opening goal from the indirect free-kick in the penalty area, which I thought was the wrong decision, I realised it was slipping away,” he continued

“Then we had to make sure we didn’t concede another goal in the opening 20 minutes.

“Unfortunately the officials wanted something else and from that moment on, the girls perhaps lost their temper.

“We need to take our hats off, despite the refereeing mistakes, for the performances. Football is all about fair play and we showed fair play, that’s football.”

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The Cameroon boss believed his players may have had justification if they had stopped playing, but said it was his own cool head that allowed the game to continue.

“We might have had a moment to walk off but thank God I was able to remain calm, because I know what I am like as a person," he said.

“Ultimately I was able to keep my cool. There was a lot of passion going on but I was able to keep calm.”

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