Republic of Ireland coach Vera Pauw said her players “feared for their bodies” during a Women’s World Cup warm-up match against Colombia that was called off after 20 minutes following a series of heavy challenges.
The Irish Football Association confirmed midfielder Denise O’Sullivan was taken to hospital for treatment for a shin injury during the friendly at Meakin Park in Brisbane, Australia, but was found not to have suffered a fracture and was still able to play. for Ireland in the tournament.
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“We are not afraid of any physical contact, you know that, we are a team ourselves, which within the rules of the game, we are a very hard playing team,” Pauw told Irish radio show Off The Ball.
“Players, [for] For the first time since I’ve been training them, they were afraid, they were afraid for their bodies.”
The match was Ireland’s final warm-up match before their World Cup debut against Australia on 20 July.
The Colombian Football Federation also issued a statement saying that the Irish team “preferred not to continue” and added that “we follow the rules of fair play”.
“It was something I had never experienced before in my 47 years of being involved in football, neither as a player, nor as a manager,” Pauw added to Sky Sports. “It started off lively, a good, average game, and then the atmosphere built up until it got too physical.
“Then there was a big challenge on Denise, a challenge that was not within the rules of the game and she was in terrible pain. I went to the Colombia coach and said: ‘I need your help, we need to calm this down.'” We all want to go to the World Cup.'”