Women's football: FA ends 2020-21 season for tiers three to six

Wolverhampton Wanderers players react during their Division One Midlands tie against Lincoln City in October 2020
Wolverhampton Wanderers were top of National League Division One Midlands in tier four

The 2020-21 season for tiers three to six of the women's football pyramid in England has been ended and declared incomplete with immediate effect.

The leagues were suspended when non-elite sport was paused in England as part of the ongoing national lockdown that started on 4 January.

The Football Association Women's Football Board said on Monday that no further fixtures will take place.

There will be no promotion or relegation between tiers three to six.

This also includes no promotion from tier three to tier two - the Women's Championship - and no relegation from tier six to tier seven.

Regional leagues in tier seven will be allowed to make their own decision on finishing the season, following FA guidance given to grassroots leagues.

Grassroots football is set to resume in England on 29 March as part of stage one of the government's roadmap out of lockdown.

The FA has extended the 2020-21 grassroots season until the end of June.

Women's clubs in tier seven can still be promoted to tier six but all sides seeking promotion have to apply to the FA Women's Football Board, with league winners not automatically going up.

It is the second straight season that leagues in tiers three to six have been declared null and avoid because of coronavirus.

In a statement the FA Women's Football Board said that "extending the 2020-21 league season beyond the end of May 2021 would not be a viable option due to the operational issues faced by many clubs and leagues.

"Clubs and leagues will however be encouraged to provide playing opportunities over the coming months by organising alternative fixtures in some format, where they are able and feel comfortable to do so following the return of grassroots football from 29 March and in line with the appropriate guidelines."

The decision to end the season will now be presented to the FA Board for ratification.

The Women's FA Cup has also been on hold since 4 January, with only one of the second-round matches having been completed before lockdown started.

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