Soccer

Women's Super League: 15 positive coronavirus tests across WSL and Championship

Fifteen positive tests have been recorded in the latest round of coronavirus screening in the Women’s Super League and FA Women’s Championship.

In total, 942 tests were carried out between January 4 and January 10 on players and officials in the top two tiers of English women’s football.

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  • Arsenal, Man City WSL games off after Covid positives

The WSL schedule was decimated recently after it was reported several WSL players had travelled to Dubai on a “business trip”.

Three Arsenal players visited the United Arab Emirates over Christmas despite London being under tier four restrictions, which meant travel abroad was prohibited except for business reasons.

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One player tested positive for coronavirus after returning, leading to “several first-team players” self-isolating.

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Four players at Women’s Super League side Manchester City tested positive for coronavirus after also returning from Dubai.

Manchester was in tier three at the time, meaning travel was allowed in accordance with government guidelines but not advised.

Manchester United boss Casey Stoney confirmed some of her squad had also gone to the United Arab Emirates during the Christmas break, although she did not reveal how many travelled.

“I said before Christmas that I will always take my players wellbeing into consideration and I granted permission for my players to go home and see family, and to go away and have a break,” she said.

Is the WSL season under threat again?

Chelsea were crowned champions of the curtailed 2019/20 Women’s Super League, overtaking Manchester City on a points-per-game record, with Liverpool relegated.

The WSL and Women’s Championship seasons were ended with immediate effect in May 2020 and all clubs were given three options to resolve the final standings.

There is already a backlog of fixtures to deal with already in 2020/21 and the FA will hold talks with clubs this week about each of their situations.

The Women’s FA Cup has been suspended following lockdown, with a coin toss one of a number of options being considered for the second and third rounds.

That prospect has not been welcomed.

“The suggestion of a coin toss is a real slap in the face to the women’s game, it’s embarrassing and an insult to women’s football,” Winters said.

“But obviously these postponements have a knock-on effect – there is a backlog of fixtures with Chelsea and Manchester City also in the latter stages of the Champions League.”

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