Coronavirus: WSL, Championship cancelled

coronavirus:-wsl,-championship-cancelled

The remainder of Women’s Super League (WSL) and Championship seasons have been cancelled, the Football Association announced on Monday.

With 82 games left to be played between both leagues, sources told ESPN previously that players were resigned to the rest of the league being cancelled.

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The league was first suspended on March 13 alongside the rest of football in England.

The FA said in a statement: “The FA Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship Board has confirmed the decision to end the 2019-20 season for the Barclays FA Women’s Super League and the FA Women’s Championship, with immediate effect.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the FA Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship Board has been in regular consultation with clubs and key stakeholders from across both leagues to identify the most suitable and appropriate way to conclude the 2019-20 season, and to give clubs and players the clarity and support they need at this time.

“This will enable clubs, the FA Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship Board and The FA to plan, prepare and focus on next season when football returns for the 2020-21 campaign.”

The FA had previously written to all clubs asking them to offer their views on how best to end the season.

In a document seen by ESPN, clubs were asked to offer their opinions on whether they can operationally and financially finish the campaign, or if the season should be “terminated.”

Manchester City were top of the WSL when the competition was suspended, although the side were just one point ahead of second-place Chelsea, who have played one game fewer.

Liverpool are bottom of the table on six points, but are just one point behind Birmingham City, who have played one game more.

Clubs were also asked to submit their preferred way of deciding final standings in the event of a season cancellation as has happened. The two options were a basic points per game formula or a weighted model taking into account the remaining home and away matches.

“Manchester City Football Club now await the outcome of discussions regarding the final standings of the league table,” the WSL leaders said in a statement. “Whilst disappointed that we are unable to complete the season, we understand the complexities of the situation and support the FA’s decision.”

Manchester United manager Casey Stoney said: “It’s obviously disappointing not to be able complete the season, but it is the right decision for the safety of everyone involved.

“Our focus now moves to our development for next season, which we have been continuously planning for throughout the year, and we can’t wait to be back on the pitch again when it is safe to do so.

Liverpool in a statement that they were able to meet the “operational and financial obligations associated with a return to play” and said that the club will “await an equitable solution to those issues still to be decided in a campaign where a third of our league games were still to be played.”

Meanwhile, the Premier League’s “Project Restart” has hit a number of stumbling blocks including player’s concerns about safety and disagreement over whether matches should be held at neutral venues.

The English government had previously said that elite sport could return in the country from June 1 but if the Premier League does return it is likely to be at a much later date.

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