By David Awopetu
The FA Youth Cup has been suspended as a result of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in the UK.
The competition had progressed as far as the fourth round, with matches due to be completed by the end of January, but the FA confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that it would have to be put on hold for now.
The spiralling COVID-19 crisis has hit youth team football hard.
But many U18 teams were planning to return to competitive action for the first time this year in the third round of the competition.
Tottenham’s U18s for example took on Newport County on Tuesday afternoon at Hotspur Way and won 6-2.
While Basford United were due to host West Brom on Tuesday evening.
But the tie has now been aborted at the last minute with FA top brass intending to halt the competition this season.
“We can confirm our decision to temporarily suspend the 2020-21 FA Youth Cup and have discussed this with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport and the competing clubs,” the statement read.
“The health and wellbeing of players and staff are of paramount importance and we intend to resume the national competition once the UK Government’s current national COVID-19 lockdown concludes and it is deemed safer for clubs to travel.
“The FA Youth Participation & Development Committee, which is responsible for management of the competition, will continue to review the situation and we will provide further updates at the earliest opportunity.”