General view before the start of the match Birmingham City Women v Manchester United Women, WSL football match, The Autotech Stadium, Solihull, UK - 13 Sep 2020 Photo: Paul Currie for The FA

Birmingham City unable to fulfil fixture against Tottenham Hotspur due to player shortage

Birmingham City have confirmed that they are unable to fulfil Sunday’s Barclays FA Women’s Super League fixture at Tottenham Hotspur due to a shortage of player availability.

The Blues boss Carla Ward has had to deal with a catalogue of injuries for a large chunk of the season so far and despite her best efforts to both bring in new faces and get existing players fit, the injuries have continued to mount up meaning that Sunday’s game at Spurs would put her squad at further risk had it have gone ahead.

Birmingham City provided an update of the situation via their official club website this morning which read:

‘The club can confirm that in light of a recent and unprecedented shortage of player availability, we are unable to fulfil our WSL fixture with Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday.

As a professional football club we have a duty of care to our players. Their welfare is at the centre of this decision and it is a conclusion we never wanted to reach.

However, it has been well documented that Carla Ward’s side has been the victim of an unfortunate and extraordinary run of injuries and despite our best efforts to field a team this weekend, it would be irresponsible to do so.

The Club maintain the position that we would be putting our players at risk of further injury and jeopardise their wellbeing in pursuit of fixture fulfilment. This is not a concession we are willing to make.

An application for a postponement was submitted to the FA but this request was denied. 

We are aware of the ramifications of this decision but contest that we are also bound by an obligation to preserve our players health and safety, above all else.’

It is understood that head coach Ward had just 10 fit players available to her this week while she has been protecting her one fit goalkeeper from injury. She was hoping to be able to take 12 players to Tottenham Hotspur this weekend but even if a side was to be fielded at The Hive, it would have put immense mental and physical strain on those players involved.

Birmingham City will now liaise with The Football Association and Tottenham Hotspur regarding the postponement and a new date for the rearranged fixture will be agreed in due course. The Blues are next set to be in action on Sunday 17 January when Brighton & Hove Albion are the visitors to the Stadium.

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