Stoke City withdraws from women's FA Cup due to COVID-19

Stoke City, which plays in the third tier, was set to play Wem Town Ladies but is unable to play the match due to a lack of access to facilities amid the pandemic.

The Stoke City FC players celebrate a goal against Aston Villa FC during a 2019-20 Women's FA Cup encounter last February (File Photo).   -  Getty Images

Stoke City has withdrawn from the women's FA Cup before its second round match due to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the FA said on Tuesday.

Stoke, which plays in the third tier, was set to play Wem Town Ladies but is unable to play the match due to a lack of access to facilities ahead of the resumption of the competition.

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"The FA understands and has accepted their withdrawal from the competition," the football governing body said in a statement.

"As a result, Wem Town Ladies will receive a bye to the third round of the competition."

Stoke's 2020-21 league campaign came to an end earlier this month when the FA curtailed the season for tiers three to six of the pyramid and declared the season incomplete because of the coronavirus pandemic.

As a result, there was no promotion or relegation between the three tiers and no team was promoted to the second division.

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