Stoke withdraw from women's FA Cup ahead of second round

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(Reuters) - Stoke City have withdrawn from the women's FA Cup before their second round match due to challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic, the FA said on Tuesday.

Stoke, who play in the third tier, were set to play Wem Town Ladies but are unable to play the match due to a lack of access to facilities ahead of the resumption of the competition.

"The FA understands and has accepted their withdrawal from the competition," the governing body said in a statement.

"As a result, Wem Town Ladies will receive a bye to the third round of the competition."

Stoke's 2020-21 league campaign came to an end earlier this month when the FA curtailed the season for tiers three to six of the pyramid and declared the season incomplete.

As a result, there was no promotion or relegation between the three tiers and no team was promoted to the second division.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris)