There is a big question mark now on the FA WSL Continental cup :
Reading have fielded an ineligible player and therefore should be excluded according to the competition rules : Only players registered for a Club shall be eligible to play for that Club in any one Season. A player shall not play for more than one Club in the League Cup Competition during any one Season. A Club playing an ineligible player shall be removed from the Competition, and be subject to a fine as decided by the Management Committee.
So Reading have 7 points, they beat Arsenal and London Bees and drew with Millwall and lost to Chelsea. The big question is what does it mean to be removed from the competition ? Do the previous results stand or are totally erased and a win given to every opponent ? Obviously the London Bees 1 Reading women 8 result should not stand, but what about the other results ?
The competition has been thrown into chaos by this. First in group 1, Chelsea and Arsenal are fighting to win the group and qualify for the semi-finals as group winners. As Arsenal dropped points to Reading, there will be a direct impact on the table, should they get their points back.
Then there is an even wider problem as Reading were indeed fighting with 11 other teams to qualify as the best runner-up as stated : The teams finishing winners of the Group Stage plus one best placed runner-up (based on and in the order of, the highest number of points, superior goal difference, highest number of goals scored, the results between the two Clubs concerned, drawing of lots) will progress to the Semi Finals.
So the impact on the best-runner-up race will be huge again. Reading were in the potential 10 points bracket alongside 7 teams. Other are on 13,12,11 or 9 potential points bracket but should Arsenal for example get 3 points rather than the 0 they gained originally against Reading that would be a huge bonus in the runner-up race and impact the 9 other teams trying to qualify as well. Goal difference might be crucial as well, so what will happen to those scoreline ?
The group 1 table looks like this at the moment:
1. Chelsea 9 pts pl 4 GD +6
2. Reading 7 pts pl 4 GD +8
3. Arsenal 6 pts pl 3 GD +4
4. Millwall 5 pts pl 4 GD -3
5. Watford 3 pts pl 4 GD -6
6. London Bees 1 pt pl 4 GD -9
We can wonder how it will look once Reading are removed, but we are yet to see the impact and it might not be nice for certain teams still hoping to qualify for the semi-finals.