Birmingham City have expressed “great disappointment” that Tottenham have been awarded the win and three points after the Midlands club pulled out of their Women’s Super League meeting scheduled for 10 January.
An independent tribunal found that Birmingham had breached rule 11.3.18 by failing “to fulfil an engagement”, the Football Association said in a statement. Birmingham said they had called off the game because of “an unprecedented shortage of player availability”.
At the time, the Birmingham manager, Carla Ward, said she would be able to field only 10 players because of freak injuries and that after discussions with the team doctor there were fears for the welfare of the players. Birmingham applied for a postponement but the FA turned down the request.
The general manager, Sarah Westwood, said on Thursday the club “feels very strongly” that it had “made the right decision not to take the team to the match”, adding: “We fought to get the match rearranged so that the result could have been played out competitively on the pitch and the result of the independent tribunal is met with great disappointment.”
Three other games were postponed on the same weekend with FA approval. Aston Villa’s match against Arsenal, Manchester City’s with West Ham and Everton’s home game against Manchester United were pushed back.
The FA said City and Arsenal “demonstrated that they would not be able to meet the minimum number of 14 players” because of positive Covid tests, and Everton were granted a postponement owing to a combination of Covid and injury problems.
The three points mean Tottenham are seven points clear of Bristol City, who occupy the one relegation place, and four points ahead of Birmingham.