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COVID-19 updates: Women's football leagues, comps

Coronavirus updates: Top women's football leagues and competitions guide on postponed and canceled events

June 5, 2020 By Juan Aguerrevere
The world of sports has just entered unpredictable and depressing times as the Coronavirus pandemic makes its way around the world. We will keep you updated with all the information you need to know about women’s football leagues and competitions around the world.

NWSL – All preseason matches have been canceled

New National Women's Soccer League Commissioner Lisa Baird released a statement saying that the 2020 NWSL preseason has been canceled. There have been no changes to the starting date of the league which is still set for April 18. Here is the official statement:

"After receiving guidance from local and state authorities and medical personnel, and with the support of the Board of Directors, the National Women's Soccer League is canceling the 2020 preseason match schedule in the wake of the most recent developments surrounding COVID-19. Our priority continues to be the safety and well-being of our players, coaches, staff, and fans. We are reviewing all contingency plans related to our regular season schedule and are monitoring developing events and their potential impact. We are deeply appreciative of our fans and partners for their continued support of our league and all our world-class players."

UPDATE 03/17/20: Imagine being Lisa Baird. Just weeks into her new job as NWSL Commissioner getting hit by a global pandemic. Here is her letter to the 'NWSL Family':

UPDATE 03/20/20: The National Women's Soccer League decided to extend the training prohibition through Sunday, April 5, 2020, resulting in the delay of its regular season start. 

FA WSL – Suspended until the weekend of April 3-5

The English Football Federation released a statement saying that the Premier League, EFL and FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship have agreed to postpone professional matches in England until Friday, April 3 at the earliest. This includes England team fixtures at any level along with academy and youth-team matches. Here are other important takeaways from the statement:

"This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the Covid-19 virus." 

"It will also apply to all England team fixtures at every level and all FA competitions including the Emirates FA Cup and the Women's FA Cup, along with academy and youth-team matches."

"We are liaising with the National League pyramids (men's and women's) and will continue to offer guidance and support. Any decision to continue playing or to postpone their respective competitions is a matter for each league as autonomous bodies within the game."

"We will continue to monitor all Government advice with the situation under constant review, with the priority being the health and well-being of all. Further updates will follow in due course."

UPDATE 03/19/20: The FA stated that the postponement of all leagues will be extended from April 3 to April 30. This applies to the FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship. Here are parts of the statement:

"This action, which will be kept under constant review, has been taken due to the increasing numbers of clubs taking steps to isolate their players and staff because of the Covid-19 virus." 

"The decision is being made purely on the number of cases requiring self-isolation and the impact on facilities."

"The FA will continue to monitor all Government advice with the situation under constant review, with the priority being the health and well-being of all."

UPDATE 03/26/20: Leagues three to seven have reached a consensus to bring the season to an immediate end. There will not be relegation or promotion. In terms of the Barclays FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship:

"We remain in consultation with the Barclays FA Women's Super League and FA Women's Championship Board and clubs regarding the most appropriate way to complete the current season, including for the Barclays FA Women's Super League Academy."

UPDATE 05/25/20: The FA has ended the 2019/20 season for both the Women's Super League and Women's Championship with immediate effect. The FA Women's Super League & Women's Championship Board said that this decision was made after discussing with the clubs, writing on their official website: "following overwhelming feedback from the clubs, the decision to bring an end to the 2019-20 season was made in the best interest of the women's game".

UPDATE 06/05/20: The 2019/20 FA Women's Super League title has been awarded to Chelsea. The board voted to decide the campaign on a points-per-game basis after prematurely ending the season, which meant first-placed Blues won the trophy on sporting merit. Man City Women came in second and will join the London giants in the Champions League next season while Liverpool got relegated. As for the Women's Championship, the title was awarded to Aston Villa.

Westfield W-League – Show goes on…

Despite the U.S. Soccer Federation confirming the decision to cancel April's international friendly vs the USWNT due to COVID-19, the Football Federation Australia has confirmed that football matches scheduled for March 13-15 will proceed as planned. This means that the W-League semi-finals during the weekend are still on. Here is the rest of the statement.

"This includes Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-League matches, National Premier League Men's and Women's, FFA Cup, and community football matches."

"A National COVID-19 Working Committee, established to address the increasing threat of COVID-19 to football in Australia, comprising representatives from FFA, the Hyundai A-League and Westfield W-Leagues, Member Federations and Professional Footballers Australia, took the decision in consultation with the Federal Government, following advice to ban all non-essential, organized gatherings of 500 people or more from Monday."

UPDATE 03/16/20: After many members of the football community have expressed concerns as to whether football in Australia should continue to be played at this time, the FFA has released new measures, but play will continue.

The matches will be played behind closed doors with only players, coaches, match officials, staff and parents/guardians of participants present. Sanitizing hand rub dispensers will be placed around events and everyone present has been asked to practice social distancing. Players, staff and officials must not touch each other and that includes handshakes.

Division 1 Feminine – Postponed until further notice

A statement from the president of the French Football Federation Noel Le Graet says that all football in the country will be suspended and will resume when sanitary conditions allow it.

"The announcements of the President of the Republic lead the French Football Federation to assume its responsibilities to contribute without ambiguity to stem the health crisis which strikes our country. Consequently, I wish to announce this evening the suspension of the whole of the activities and competitions managed by the Federation, its leagues and its districts, on the whole territory. Thus, all the female and male amateur championships, of all the categories of age, the various tournaments and gatherings, the trainings and the activity of the Football schools are suspended from tomorrow Friday March 13, and until further notice. They will resume as soon as sanitary conditions allow."

UWCL and Women's Euro 2021 – Postponed until further notice 

According to reports from L'Équipe, UEFA executives and representatives from the 55 European football associations will meet on Tuesday, March 17, to announce the temporary suspension of the UEFA Women's Champions League. At this point, the competition's quarter-final first legs are still scheduled for March 25.

Reports say that the Euro 2020 will likely be moved to 2021. This means that the Women's Euro 2021 might be played after the Euro 2020 in the Summer of 2021 or the summer of 2022. 

UEFA has postponed all upcoming Champions and Europa League matches until further notice.

UPDATE 03/17/20: UEFA has moved the Euro 2020 to 2021. The decision whether to keep the Women's Euro 2021 or move it to 2022 will not happen until June. 

As for the Women's Champions League, UEFA will assess the situation further to find solutions. Here is part of the statement.

"All UEFA competitions and matches (including friendlies) for clubs and national teams for both men and women have been put on hold until further notice. The UEFA EURO 2020 play-off matches and international friendlies, scheduled for the end of March, will now be played in the international window at the start of June, subject to a review of the situation."

"A working group has been set up with the participation of leagues and club representatives to examine calendar solutions that would allow for the completion of the current season and any other consequence of the decisions made today."

UPDATE 04/01/20: UEFA postponed all June national team matches:

"All national team matches for men and women due to be played in June 2020 are postponed until further notice. This includes the play-off matches for UEFA EURO 2020 and qualifying matches for UEFA Women's EURO 2021."

Also, UEFA postpones all June national team matches including Women's U-17 and U-19 Euros. 

Liga BBVA MX Femenil – Postponed until further notice

As of Sunday, March 15, Liga MX executives declared that all leagues in the country will be suspended until further notice. Here is parts of the federation's statement:

"The measure will apply from the end of Day 10 of the LIGA BBVA MX, which concludes this day with the meeting between Clubs America and Cruz Azul."

"The Presidency of the LIGA MX / ASCENSO MX will maintain close communication with the Clubs, managers, players and members of our Leagues to face any health contingency."

"The measure announced today will continue until further notice and the resumption of activities will be determined in coordination with the Ministry of Health of the Federal Government."

Primera Division – Matches to be postponed until further notice

The Real Federacion Española de Futbol, Spain's football feration, has postponed all matches and has told clubs to suspend team training. The federation advised players to have individual training. The statement added:

"From the RFEF we understand that, at this time, the priority is the protection of footballers, coaches, referees and all club and federation personnel who are involved in competitions. For this reason, we strongly recommend that all clubs also suspend all group training for all their teams as long as there are no official competitions."

"We understand that collective training does not proceed, and we recommend that each club develop an individualized training plan for its players."

UPDATE 03/17/20: RFEF and La Liga have agreed to suspend professional football competitions until authorities of the Government of Spain and the General administration of the State consider that they can be resumed.

Women's Olympic Football Tournament – Committed to keep dates from July 24 through August 9

The International Olympic Committee expressed its full commitment to keep the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 scheduled for July 24 through August 9. The Executive Board is cooperating with the World Health Organization at this moment, but as of March 13, the Olympic Games are still on.

As for the remaining Women's Olympic Qualifiers, the AFC Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament matches between South Korea and China are still set to be played on June 3 and 8. The intercontinental two-legged play-off between Cameroon and Chile are still set to be played on April 9 and 15.

UPDATE 03/24/20: President of the IOC Thomas Bach and Prime Minister of Japan Abe Shinzo concluded that the 2020 Olympics must be rescheduled to a date beyond 2020 but not later than summer 2021.

Frauen Bundesliga – Matches to be postponed until April 2

The Deutscher Fussball-Bund, Germany's football federation, has ceased all matches until April 2. Here are the reasons as to why this decision was made:

"The goal remains to complete the current season before summer. This decision has been taken both for sporting reasons, and as a duty of care for those clubs that are most at risk from a premature end to the season. During the international break, all clubs will decide how to proceed, taking into account any new information that will be available at that time, and especially regarding this summer's international football."

Serie A – Postponed until further notice

Like the men's Serie A, the women's Serie A matches have been ordered to be suspended and postponed to a later date as of March 9.

Scottish Premier League – Suspended until further notice

The Scottish FA Board suspended all domestic professional and grassroots football under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA until further notice. Here is more information from the statement:

"We have been in intensive and detailed discussions since last night and have also been taking on board the experience of our counterparts in England and across Europe. As a result, the board of the SPFL has agreed this morning that all league fixtures this weekend and next midweek will be postponed until further notice."

"The health and safety of fans, players and officials are absolutely paramount. We have not yet had any confirmed cases of Coronavirus amongst players in Scotland, but, given the nature of this outbreak, it seems only a matter of time."

"We realize that many people will be bitterly disappointed, and we would obviously prefer to be in a position where we can continue as normal, but that's neither realistic nor possible."

Conmebol U-20 Femenino Argentina 2020 – The tournament will be suspended after March 14 games are played

Conmebol announced that the U-20 tournament will be suspended after the group-stage matches are finalized on Saturday, March 14. The final stages of the tournament will be underway until further notice. 

NCAA – Canceled all 2020 D1 men's and women's winter and spring NCAA Championships

On March 12, the NCAA released a statement saying that all Division 1 tournament will be canceled for the remainder of the year. Here is the exact statement: 

"Today, NCAA President Mark Emmert and the Board of Governors canceled the Division I men's and women's 2020 basketball tournaments, as well as all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships. This decision is based on the evolving COVID-19 public health threat, our ability to ensure the events do not contribute to spread of the pandemic, and the impracticality of hosting such events at any time during this academic year given ongoing decisions by other entities."

UPDATE 03/30/20: The Division I Council on Monday voted to allow schools to provide spring-sports student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.

2020 U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup in India - Still scheduled from Nov. 2 to Nov. 21

The All India Football Federation decided to suspend the All-Hero I-League - India's men's top-flight league - from March 15, 2020, onwards. As you can tell, it was one of the leagues that stalled the suspension longer than what it should have.

Nonetheless, the 2020 U-17 FIFA Women's World Cup is still seven months away and there has been no word on rescheduling it. But it will most likely happen.  

A total of 13 nations still need to qualify for the tournament – three CAF, three Concacaf, three Conmebol, three UEFA and one OFC. Only hosts India, Japan and North Korea have qualified for the competition.

Concacaf officially suspended their 2020 Concacaf Women's Under-17 Championships originally scheduled for April 18 to May 3 in Mexico. UEFA also postponed its championship. CAF is set to finish its championship in early May, but it will most likely be postponed.

Without qualified teams, there cannot be a World Cup. 

UPDATE 05/12/2020: Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the 2020 U-17 Women's World Cup has now been rescheduled for 17 February– 7 March of 2021. Similarly, the U20 Women's World Cup has also been pushed back and will now take place from 20 January–6 February of 2021.


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