FA considering use of neutral venues to finish WSL season

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The FA are considering finishing the WSL season on neutral territory over a six-week period in June and July, with St George’s Park, the Football Association’s national football centre, is under consideration as a possible behind closed doors venue.

Currently, the earliest the campaign could restart would be the weekend of 6-7 June, assuming teams would be able to come back together to train at the end of May. Arsenal have seven games left to play in the WSL, other teams have between six and nine fixtures remaining, with the FA Cup paused at the quarter-final stage. The Gunners in 3rd place, four points behind leaders Manchester City with a game in hand.

The options for the campaign were outlined to WSL clubs during a conference call on Thursday, including the possibility of having to void the season- a decision that has already been taken from tiers 3 – 7 in the women’s game.

An FA spokesperson told BBC Sport: “We are in the early stages of assessing what options are available for when it is safe and appropriate to resume the FA WSL and FA WC seasons. This includes the potential use of neutral venues. Any scenarios are under constant review in line with the latest government advice. We are in regular contact with all clubs and the safety and welfare of everybody involved remains our priority.”

Arsenal are also in the Champions League quarter-finals and UEFA are monitoring developments to finish the women’s Champions League along the same line as the men’s. The Gunners are due to play Paris Saint Germain over two legs.

Meanwhile, Gunners boss Joe Montemurro has spoken for the first time since lockdown in an interview with Arsenal.com. Joe is in Melbourne, where he returned for family reasons shortly prior to lockdown. Arsenal have sent training equipment to players, who have team meetings online every Monday and online yoga sessions in the middle of the week.

“We’ve [all been doing video calls together], but it’s probably more banter than anything of any productive nature!” Montemurro told Arsenal.com. “But it’s great, they’ve been really good and a couple of players have just started to do their own little bits and pieces in couples. It’s been good to just catch up on an ad hoc sort of basis and have a bit of a laugh and see each other’s faces.

“It’s more just to make people laugh, to be honest. It’s a testing time and these privileges as players have been taken away, we don’t have the choices and we’re told what to do. It’s an interesting time not only for the sport, but as human beings too. It’s a great time for us to really recalibrate and reboot.”

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Peter Story Teller

Big logistical nightmare there. Are they expecting all of the players and backroom staff to camp at St Georges for six weeks? If not what is the advantage apart from only having to staff a single ground which shall be minimal if no fans are allowed in anyway. Can’t say that I am keen as four of our remaining seven games are meant to be at home but this would mean all teams would play all remaining games away. That’s a little unfair on the teams that have already played their away leg of the WSL. For us that means… Read more »

Vescucci

I thought I had gone into a coma reading this