Here is part 3 of the FA WSL 2016 rules’ analysis focusing on the FA WSL Continental Cup
Competition structure :
New format as already previously announced with no more group stage games :
The FA WSL Cup shall be a knock out competition.
Here is the full ranking used for the 2016 competition :
- Manchester City
- Notts County
- Aston Villa
- London Bees
Clubs will be ranked using their FA WSL finishing position in the previous Playing Season with the team placed first in FA WSL 1 ranked highest (1) followed by all the Clubs in FA WSL 1, then the Clubs in FA WSL 2 and the team (if any) promoted to the FA WSL from the Football Association Women’s Premier League being ranked lowest.
Oxford, Durham, London Bees, Millwall, Watford and Sheffield to play the preliminary round :
A preliminary round of 3 Competition Matches will be played between the six (6) Clubs ranked lowest. In order to determine which Clubs will play each other in the preliminary round, an open draw will take place. The winning Club from each of these matches will progress to the first round proper.
The first round proper will consist of the 3 winning Clubs from the preliminary round and the remaining Clubs
Reading, Doncaster, Everton, Yeovil and Aston Villa plus the three preliminary round winners will be at home and drawn against Chelsea, Man City, Arsenal, Sunderland, Notts, Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol.
2 FA WSL 1 teams will therefore be at home while on FA WSL 2 team will be away.
In order to determine which Clubs will play against each other in the first round proper, Clubs ranked nine (9) to thirteen (13) under Rule 15.2 above together with the winners of the preliminary round Competition Matches will be placed in one (1) pot (“Pot A) and Clubs ranked one (1) to eight (8) under Rule 15.2 above will be placed in another pot (“Pot B”). A seeded draw will then take place with all Competition Matches in the first round proper being played between one (1) team from Pot A against one (1) team from Pot B
Open draw for the quarter-finals
The winning Club from each first round proper Competition Match will progress to the quarter finals.
In order to determine which Clubs will play against each other in the quarter finals, all the winning Clubs from the first round proper will be put into one (1) pot and an open draw will take place
The winning Club from each quarter final Competition Match shall progress to the semi-finals.
Open draw for the semi-finals
In order to determine which Clubs will play against each other in the semi-finals, all the winning Clubs from the quarter finals will be put into one (1) pot and an open draw will take place.
The winning two (2) teams from the semi-finals will progress to the final.
The FA introducing a possible neutral venue for the semi-final like they do for the FA Women’s Cup.
The first drawn Club in all the rounds (except for the semi-final and final) will play at home. The semi-finals will be played at the home ground of the first drawn club or a neutral FA WSL ground to be determined by The Management Committee in its absolute discretion. The final shall be played on a neutral ground to be decided by the Board in its absolute discretion.
Extra-time and penalty shoot-out if needed in every round, standard for cup games.
All Competition Matches shall be played to a conclusion with extra time (a period of thirty (30) minutes split into two (2) halves of fifteen (15) minutes) to be played if there is no winner after ninety (90) minutes. If there is no winner after extra time, the winner shall be determined by the taking of penalty kicks from the penalty mark in accordance with the procedure adopted by the International Football Association Board
Fielding an ineligible player:
Again the FA is putting on a curious rule about an ineligible player due to not obtaining an international clearance. As far as I know a transfer is not valid at all, if the player does not have an ITC. They also introduce another loophole with ineligibilty due to the player’s status. I feel they actually therefore have introduced an allowance for cheating.
Where a Club is found to have played an ineligible Player in a Competition Match or Competition Matches that Competition Match or Competition Matches shall be awarded to the opposition Club. Notwithstanding the above, the Management Committee shall have the power, in its absolute discretion, not to order that the Competition Match be awarded to the opposition team only in circumstances where the ineligibility is due to the failure to obtain an International Clearance Certificate or where the ineligibility is related to the Player’s status. In such circumstances, the Management Committee shall have the power to impose any sanction that it determines.