England Women to miss 2021 SheBelieves Cup
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England Women will not play in the 2021 SheBelieves Cup in the United States of America, the Football Association has confirmed.
The Lionesses included Arsenal duo Leah Williamson and Beth Mead when they won the tournament in 2019, while Mead missed out due to injury this year as Williamson and Jordan Nobbs featured and they came third.
The USA won their third overall title at the tournament in March which also featured Spain and Japan.
England have played in the tournament every year since it was formed in 2016, but due to difficulties with the coronavirus pandemic will not be taking part this coming year.
Technical factors and travel logistics during a tight international window were also considered when making the decision, the FA explained.
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In a statement, the FA said “The clear focus for our technical team will be to deliver an international fixture programme which provides the best possible performance outcomes for the Lionesses as we begin a crucial three-year period building to the home UEFA European Championship in 2022 and Fifa Women’s World Cup in 2023.
“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.
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“The Lionesses’ autumn fixtures will be announced ‘in due course’.”