The Women’s FA Cup resumed action this weekend, with Chelsea and Manchester City becoming the first teams to book their place in the fifth round.
Fans who visited Nottingham Forest’s City Ground saw Georgia Stanway make history as the team’s new all-time leading scorer.
But for those supporting from home, viewing access was limited for the two Saturday fixtures.
Although three Women’s Super League teams are in action, the matches have not been shown on television.
In the absence of a prime time television slot, supporters can usually rely on the FA Player, which was introduced to provide greater coverage of women’s football matches.
The platform has changed the game by giving fans free access to live streams of the Women’s Super League, Women’s Championship, Women’s FA Cup, Continental Cup and Lionesses coverage.
Highlight packages are also available, along with the ability to watch full match replays in the archive.
The FA Player also covers men’s FA Cup matches and did not disappoint in the final round of the competition.
However, with the site mainly known for showing women’s games, fans criticized the lack of coverage of Nottingham Forest against Man City and Aston Villa against Chelsea in the fourth round.
A number of fans and media personnel were left confused and frustrated as to why Saturday’s Women’s FA Cup matches were not available to watch via the FA Player.
Instead, viewers had to rely on the teams streaming their respective games through the club’s apps, Facebook and YouTube.
Many wonder why a platform invented to promote the women’s game failed to show two WSL heavyweights in Cup action this weekend.
One account highlighted the fact that only one Women’s FA Cup game will be shown on the FA Player this weekend, despite 32 teams in action. On the other hand, all the men’s matches will be broadcast the following week.
For many, the FA Player has become a go-to source for watching women’s football. Unbeknownst to individual clubs broadcasting matches on their own platforms, fans are forced to follow live streams or official team updates on social media.
Women’s football simply cannot continue to grow if access to live matches, especially the reigning Women’s FA Cup champions, is removed from the schedule.
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