Arsenal, Man City and Man Utd should apologise for players' Dubai trip, says Suzanne Winters

Suzanne Winters has called on Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United to come out and apologise for allowing some players to visit Dubai during the recent winter break.

It has subsequently led to a few of the travelling group testing positive for COVID-19 and a spate of WSL games postponed as a result.

Arsenal’s trip to Aston Villa, alongside Manchester City’s home clash with West Ham and their Continental League Cup quarter-final tie against Chelsea as well as Manchester United’s at Everton have all been called off after it was reported a number of players visited Dubai on a “business trip”.

Although Manchester United Women’s manager Casey Stoney took full responsibility for her players’ actions – there has been no official response from any of the three clubs.

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“Everybody deserves the clubs to make a statement, to come out and apologise,” former Scotland international Winters exclusively told Sky Sports News.


“At the end of the day everyone makes mistakes but we do need to get these clubs and the players involved to understand they have made the wrong decision.

“They need to apologise to everyone involved who are adhering to government guidelines.

“I’m hugely disappointed, like many people, and for me it’s a little bit disappointing and irresponsible – for these players to go and obviously for the clubs to agree on it.”

Bristol City Women’s manager Tanya Oxtoby has also called for clarity from the FA over the recent postponements, suggesting there are double-standards within the WSL.

It comes after Oxtoby’s side were forced to play a WSL fixture against Manchester City back in November, a game they went on to lose 8-1, despite having five confirmed coronavirus cases in their squad.

“Looking on the outside I do think there are double-standards involved,” Winters said.

“Only the FA can come out and explain why these games are being treated differently and justify their decisions to everyone else and the other clubs.”

‘FA Cup should be scrapped’

In light of the postponements, Winters also believes this season’s FA Cup should be scrapped due to a backlog of fixtures.

The tournament has been suspended following lockdown with meetings being held to discuss ways to progress with a coin toss one of a number of options being considered for the second and third rounds.

“The suggestion of a coin toss is a real slap in the face to the women’s game, it’s embarrassing and an insult to women’s football,” Winters said.

“Obviously these postponements has a knock-on effect – there is a backlog of fixtures with Chelsea and Manchester City also in the latter stages of the Champions League.

“For me, the league and these games have to be the priority so the fairest way to do it is just scrap the FA Cup.”

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