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The Women’s FA Cup is to remain suspended during the latest coronavirus lockdown period.

Second and third-round matches in the competition, which is classified as non-elite, were postponed last month, with the FA entering talks on how to continue.

One of the options which had been considered was the use of a coin toss to decide those matches which had been postponed, but the proposal has faced heavy criticism from a number of players and managers in the women’s game.

However, the FA has decided it is “not in a position where the second and third rounds can be played”, meaning the competition will remain paused.

The tournament organisers say they still plan to complete all matches, but will monitor the situation closely before taking any further action.

Manchester City are the current Women's FA Cup holders
Last year’s Women’s FA Cup final was delayed for over six months because of the pandemic

WSL and Women’s Championship sides do not enter the competition until round four.

In a statement on Wednesday, the FA said: “With all sport across the country outside of the elite level currently shut down, the competition is not in a position where the second and third rounds can be played, with clubs currently in the competition not permitted to train or play due to being at amateur level.

“Whilst it would have been possible to play elite-versus-non-elite fixtures under elite criteria with Government support, as seen in the Emirates FA Cup, fixtures involving all non-elite teams do not meet elite criteria and cannot currently go ahead.

“Therefore, the competition will remain paused during the current lockdown, with a number of options currently being explored on how best to complete it.

WSL and Women’s Championship sides enter the draw in round four

“The health and wellbeing of players and staff are of paramount importance and we are not prepared to put any individual at risk during this pandemic.

“It remains our preference to complete the 2020-21 competition with all clubs having the opportunity to play their fixtures, however the developing situation will continue to be closely monitored and will be reviewed before any further decisions are made.

“We will now enter a period of consultation with all clubs that remain in the competition – alongside those who are due to enter from the fourth round – to discuss the options available. We will look to make a further announcement in due course.”

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