Ireland’s Ruesha Littlejohn refused to shake the hand of Australia’s Caitlin Foord before their opening World Cup group game after her opponent posted pictures on holiday in Ibiza with her former partner and team-mate Katie McCabe
The Women’s World Cup has had its own John Terry-Wayne Bridge moment after a player refused to shake hands with an opponent who went on holiday with her ex-girlfriend.
Australia kicked off their World Cup campaign on home soil against Ireland on Thursday and secured a 1-0 win thanks to Stephanie Catley’s penalty early in the second half. But the real drama came before the match had even got under way when Ireland’s Ruesha Littlejohn snubbed Australia’s Caitlin Foord, completely bypassing her opponent when the teams were shaking hands.
It comes after Foord posed in pictures whilst on holiday with Littlejohn’s former partner, Ireland captain Katie McCabe, in Ibiza earlier this summer.
Littlejohn, 33, had been in a relationship with McCabe for seven years before their split earlier this year. There is no suggestion Foord played any part in the breakdown of their relationship.
The Mail claims Foord and McCabe are good friends, as well as team-mates for Women’s Super League side Arsenal. Foord has also separated from her ex-partner recently when her relationship with fellow Arsenal star Lia Walti came to an end.
The pair were later embroiled in a heated moment at the end of the match when Littlejohn moved to approach Foord, only for team-mates to step in to calm her down.
A source told the Mail: “Clearly there is still some tension surrounding from Littlejohn’s side of things which looks like it spilled over a bit on Thursday night. Caitlin and Katie are great friends.
The incident bears striking similarities to that of the saga between former Chelsea and England defender John Terry and his old team-mate Wayne Bridge. Terry was alleged to have had an affair with Bridge’s then-partner Vanessa Perroncel in 2009 – claims she denied.
The pair later faced each other in the Premier League when Bridge was playing for Manchester City, though he infamously refused to shake Terry’s hand prior to kick-off. Bridge later retired from international football due to Terry’s standing within the England set-up as he did not want to create divisions within the squad.
Ireland’s next match is against Canada on Wednesday before they face Nigeria the following Monday.