With The FA Cup Returning, Should New Signings Be Eligible?

Photo: Tom Flathers

This morning it was reported that the 2019-20 Women’s FA Cup has been given the go-ahead to be completed in conjunction with the 2020/21 season, with the final to be held at Wembley on 31 October.

The quarter-finals that were originally scheduled for March but will take place on the weekend of 26-27 September, with the semi-finals taking place between 30 September and 1 October.

The quarter-finals will come three weeks into England’s 2020-21 domestic women’s season, with the Women’s Super League starting on 5-6 September.

The FA’s director of the women’s professional game, Kelly Simmons, said: “A significant amount of work has been going on behind the scenes to ensure the Women’s FA Cup can be completed and I am delighted that we have received the necessary approval for its conclusion.

“The Women’s FA Cup is a showpiece fixture in the football calendar and because of that there was a huge appetite for the three remaining rounds to be played.”

If the competition could not be completed prior to the new season commencing then I believe that it should have been cancelled. Now teams are preparing for next season each squad will look very different. Could we see Chloe Kelly fire Manchester City to an FA Cup final, despite previously helping guide Everton to a quarter-final place?

I believe players not registered with their club at the start of the 2019-20 season should not be eligible to participate. Official guidance on player eligibility has yet to be confirmed by the Football Association. So the likes of Kelly will not know if she is going to be eligible for her new employers.

Willie Kirk‘s Everton are due to take on Chelsea when the competition re-commences and as it is, the blues are without Hannah Cain, Taylor Hinds, Kirstie Levell and Dutch international Inessa Kaagman.

While as we’ve already identified, Manchester City have secured the services of Everton’s top scorer, Chloe Kelly, along with being heavily linked with Lucy Bronze and Alex Greenwood, as well as United States internationals, Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle. Seeing those five lift the trophy which relates to the previous season just wouldn’t sit well with me.

I understand that the league will be wanting to make the competition marketable by including the big name imports to the WSL but to include players not registered for the 2019/20 season would bring into question the integrity of the competition. It would seem like a hollow victory whoever won it.

I fear that the Football Association are not of the same opinion as me and I fully expect for the 2020/21 rosters to all be eligible for the competition.

I’d love to know what you think it you’d like to tweet me at @Since71Blog or over on Facebook.

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