Tottenham Hotspur Women were due to host their first WSL match of 2021 on Sunday against Birmingham City at The Hive. That match will no longer take place. Spurs Women today tweeted that the match has been called off.
We can confirm that our @BarclaysFAWSL game against Birmingham City on Sunday will not go ahead.— Tottenham Hotspur Women (@SpursWomen) January 9, 2021
Full details ⬇️ #THWFC ⚪ #COYS
According to Spurs’ official release, the match was called off due to an injury crisis at Birmingham.
Birmingham City have informed us that they are unable to fulfil the fixture due to a shortage of available players as a result of injuries.
Birmingham City made an application for a postponement which was denied by the FA.
The Club will continue to liaise with the FA and Birmingham City concerning the outcome of this fixture and an update will be provided in due course.
That’s pretty vague, but it’s notable that the stated reason is “inuries” and not “COVID-19 positives” which is why you’d expect a match to be called off in this day and age.
BBC journalist Emma Sanders provided some context to this decision on Twitter.
I'm told Birmingham had a request denied by FA to cancel their WSL game vs Tottenham. They currently have 10 players available due to injury. Had 1 positive test this week (same as Arsenal). Reason Arsenal game called off due to others self-isolating I'm led to believe. #BCFC— Emma Sanders (@em_sandy) January 8, 2021
That’s the reason the match is described as “called off” and not “postponed” — because Birmingham appealed to have the match delayed and had their appeal denied by the FA, they’re sort of over a barrel. Nobody’s saying that the match is forfeited — that decision presumably hasn’t been made official yet, but you have to think that this is the case. When you have an appeal for a match delay denied by the FA and then go ahead and call it off anyway, it’s probably going to end up forfeited.
In the event of a match forfeiture, Tottenham would go into the book as having won 3-0. It would be an immediate three points and a boost to their goal differential. That’s a good result for Spurs, but make no mistake: this would stink on a variety of levels. Professional footballers want to play, and I can guarantee that nobody ends up happy when a match gets forfeited under these circumstances during of an out-of-control global pandemic, regardless of whether its the result of the virus or injuries.
It’s the second straight Tottenham Hotspur Women WSL match that’s been called off. Their next scheduled match is next Sunday, January 17, at West Ham.