Covid-19 fears and a technical review push England to pull out of 2021 SheBelieves Cup

July 31 – England’s women’s national team have pulled out of next year’s SheBelieves Cup in the US, mainly because of existing uncertainties around the Covid-19 pandemic which has ravaged so much of the country.

The four-team invitational tournament hosted by the US has taken place each year since 2016, with England’s Lionesses featuring in every edition to date. This year the tournament was played in March, just before the lockdown was imposed.

In a statement the English FA said that despite having been “privileged to play in the tournament since its inception in 2016, challenging some of the best teams in the world, our withdrawal from the competition in 2021 is based on existing uncertainties around the future trend of the Covid-19 pandemic, together with a detailed review of our technical priorities for England Women.”

Travel logistics during a tight international window were also apparently considered when making the decision.

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