Casey Stoney blasts decision to suspend the Women's FA Cup and closure of WSL academies over lockdown

CASEY STONEY has blasted the decision to suspend the Women’s FA Cup while the men’s competition can continue over lockdown, as it “goes against equality”.

The men’s competition will kickstart from November 6-9 as planned, with 10 non-elite teams in the first round.

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The women’s first round was originally set to take place on November 15, but the earliest return date possible for the competition will be December 2.

United Women’s boss, Stoney said: “How can the men's FA Cup games go ahead and the women's can’t? How?

“I just don't know how you can distinguish between the two and let one go ahead and one not, I just don’t understand it. So we talk about equality, we're going against it.”

The FA are said to be in talks with the government over resuming the women's fixtures over lockdown.

Former England captain, Stoney, also slammed the closure of WSL Academies and Girls Regional Talent Clubs over the lockdown period.

Boys’ academy level is allowed to continue based on them being classed as “elite”.

The United Women's camp have brought two academy players, who are over 18, into the senior team's bubble to keep their development ticking over amid the shutdown of their training.

Stoney added: “I class my RTC and my Academy as elite because they're at Manchester United.

“They're training to become professional players just like the boys are.

“Unfortunately it's not seen that way, in terms of governance so that's one of the things that's got to change.

“It's disappointing. It means that our players have another four weeks out of the game. It means that their mental wellbeing is affected.

"It’s frustrating for Charlotte their head coach, who works tirelessly to try and make sure this programme going.

"Everyone is trying to make sure this rate goes down and unfortunately this is a measure the government have taken.”

"It's a real shame because young people need it, especially during this time.

"I've got three children. Two play grassroots football, and they can go and sit in a classroom with someone, eight hours a day,

"But can't go over a park and play football and the outdoors. Hey I'm not a scientist. I'm not making the decisions."

Stoney's side sit third in the top-flight and face table toppers Arsenal for a mouth-watering tie on Sunday.


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