Sanderson criticises FA over Lionesses invite

The former players gave the current squad a guard of honour before kick-off

Former England international Lianne Sanderson has criticised the Football Association, saying she wasn’t invited to a celebration of 50 years of the women’s team on Friday.

“They forgot about me before, and last night was another example,” she said.

The FA said Sanderson, who they called an “England great”, was asked to attend but did not receive the invitation.

They have apologised to her.

Writing on Twitterexternal-link Sanderson, who played 50 times for England between 2006 and 2015, also said her name was spelled incorrectly in the match programme.

“All former Lionesses were invited,” Sanderson said. “Everyone is invited except me. I retired because a sport I loved so much wasn’t showing me much love back.

“To spell my name wrong in the programme and on the big screen, they forgot about my 50th cap. I’m happy all my former team-mates enjoyed their evening but this has left me so upset yet again.”

An FA spokesperson said: “We are sorry. We invited Lianne, along with more than 200 former players, to last night’s celebrations but she didn’t receive it.

“We have been in touch with her representatives to explain. We also apologise for her name being misspelt in the programme. With 50 caps, Lianne is an England great and deserves full recognition for the service she gave to the national team.”

On Friday, members of England’s inaugural team of 1972 lined up with the current Lionesses before kick-off. Those players also received their first official England caps.

Friday’s win was England’s first game at the national stadium since beating Germany in the Euro 2022 final in July.

The 1972 team formed a guard of honour for the England and USA players as they took the pitch, before joining both for a pre-match photograph.

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