Women’s FA Cup paused as Covid crisis wreaks havoc in football following axed WSL clashes

WOMEN’S FA CUP clashes have become the latest sports events to be halted by the coronavirus crisis. 

Football authorities say second and third round fixtures – currently classed as ‘non-elite’ sport by the government – will be paused during lockdown.

And the announcement comes after 17 second round ties were cancelled in December due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Officials say they will monitor and review the situation before making a decision over the resumption of the competition. 

In a statement on its web site the FA says: “We can today confirm that, following the latest national lockdown enforced by the government, the 2020-21 Vitality Women’s FA Cup will not resume during this period and will remain on pause.

“With all sport across the country outside of the elite level currently shut down, the competition is not in a position where the second and third rounds can be played, with clubs currently in the competition not permitted to train or play due to being at amateur level. 

“Whilst it would have been possible to play elite-versus-non-elite fixtures under elite criteria with Government support, as seen in the Emirates FA Cup fixtures involving all non-elite teams do not meet elite criteria and cannot currently go ahead.

“Therefore, the competition will remain paused during the current lockdown, with a number of options currently being explored on how best to complete it.

“The health and wellbeing of players and staff are of paramount importance and we are not prepared to put any individual at risk during this pandemic.

“It remains our preference to complete the 2020-21 competition with all clubs having the opportunity to play their fixtures, however the developing situation will continue to be closely monitored and will be reviewed before any further decisions are made.

“We will now enter a period of consultation with all clubs that remain in the competition – alongside those who are due to enter from the fourth round – to discuss the options available. 

“We will look to make a further announcement in due course.” 

The postponement of the competition is the latest blow to hit the women’s game in recent weeks.

It comes a week after SEVEN games were axed in the Women’s Super League and Championship following a spate of player injuries and positive Covid-19 test results.

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