Hope Powell: Ex-England manager concerned about effect of coronavirus on women’s sport

Hope Powell was England manager between 1998 and 2013

Former England coach Hope Powell is concerned about the negative effect the coronavirus pandemic is having on women's sport.

While the men's Premier League and championship are moving forward with the testing program they hope will allow them to resume their domestic seasons, the Women's Super League is scheduled to be brought to a premature end.

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In the rugby union, there are still no plans to resume the women's game, although there is a broad, though complicated, strategy for the Premiership.

In cricket, the England men's team began training in hopes of playing their series of tests against the West Indies in July, but their colleagues are not sure when the international program will resume.

The financial disparity in the game of men and women may make the divergence understandable, but Powell accepts the concern about the female sport of losing some of the momentum it has gained in recent years.

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"There were concerns and a lot of chat and debate about it," said Powell, who joined Brighton in July 2017.

"We hope that the money has been surrounded, but everyone has been affected by it, in all sectors, not just in sport.

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"The cash flow is not what was expected. I hope that we can go through this very difficult period and that the whole female sport is supported in the long term. But it is really difficult to say & no; it will not be affected & # 39; . "

Premier League clubs are estimated to spend £ 4 million on coronavirus tests, while their Championship colleagues commit to spending more than £ 100,000 each for the season to be completed.

Powell recognizes that these are sums that the women's game cannot afford.

"We are not in a position where we can test players every other day and we are not able to pitch for socially distant training," she said.

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"It is just an additional burden that the game cannot afford. We cannot blame anyone for that. We have to accept it."

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UEFA has already changed the European Women's Championship, which was to be hosted by England in 2021, a year ago, to allow the men's event to take place next year.

Powell is crossing his fingers, any regression is short-term.

"The appetite for women's football has grown," she said. "When I return, I hope it will continue to grow and investment in it too.

"Speaking from Brighton's point of view, the club is committed to supporting the women's game for a long time, giving the work they are doing to build new facilities and increase the team."

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