SWF statement: Championship season 'null and void' but clubs vow to complete shortened SWPL 2 campaign
The Championship season is to be declared null and void, while a start date for SWPL 2 is yet to be announced, Scottish Women’s Football have announced.
However, SWPL 2 clubs have vowed to complete the season, with the possibility of a shortened campaign going ahead, with the division needing to be completed by 4 July.
A request by SWF for clubs to return to contact training on 26 April was declined by the Scottish government, meaning they must wait until 17 May.
But the SWF do say that the top flight will definitely now be played to a finish, with all 21-match days expected to be completed.
Scottish Women’s Premier League 1
SWF have confirmed that with or without testing, SWPL 1 will play to completion with the final fixture round scheduled for Sunday 6th June.
SWF Chair, Vivienne MacLaren, said: “We’re delighted that SWPL 1 will be able to conclude after a full 21 round of fixtures. This has been the most exciting and competitive season in the league’s history, so it’s fitting that it will end with all matches played.
“I want to thank all SWPL 1 clubs for their commitment during what has been a difficult and complex time for all. This has been an incredible season so far and we look forward to an exciting conclusion.”
Scottish Women’s Premier League 2
SWF have been lobbying for the return of SWPL 2 since the suspension of football in late 2020. However, without testing SWPL 2 has had to follow the Scottish Government roadmap.
SWF requested an earlier return to contact training of Monday 26th April. Unfortunately, that request has been declined and SWPL 2 must continue to follow the Scottish Government roadmap.
This means that SWPL 2 teams will return to contact training on Monday 17th May. With a commitment from all teams in the league to complete the season based on two rounds of fixtures, SWF will continue to work with the SWPL 2 working group and all teams in the league to agree a schedule to allow the league to play to a conclusion. The league will conclude by Sunday 4th July.
SWF Chair, Vivienne MacLaren, said: “We’re disappointed to have not been granted an earlier return to contact training but we are pleased that there is a commitment from teams to complete the 2020/21 SWPL 2 season.
“SWPL 2 has been and remains one of the most competitive leagues in Scotland. With two promotion places available this season, I have no doubt we’ll continue to see fascinating results and a conclusion filled with drama.
“I’d like to thank the SWPL 2 clubs for their patience during what has been an extremely difficult time. I’m sure now there will be a 100% focus on finishing the season as strongly as possible.”
In accordance with the Scottish government roadmap, contact sport for adult is not permitted until 17th May. SWF have worked with the Scottish FA to try to bring this date forward, however have now been advised that no adult contact activity is permitted until this date. As such, the relevant committees have agreed that the 2020/21 Championship season will now be declared null and void.
SWF and the various committees will now work with the Championship clubs to plan for the 2021/22 season.
SWF Chair, Vivienne MacLaren, said: “We’re extremely disappointed not to have been able to get the leagues underway for the majority of clubs. While the Championship is in its infancy, it’s a hugely important part of our performance arm. Our focus now turns to planning for the 2021/22 season.”