Unfortunately, the match between Manchester United and Charlton Athletic Women had to be abandoned this afternoon. This was after a serious injury to Charlton defender Charlotte Kerr. She suffered the serious injury after a collision with her own keeper Katie Startup when trying to stop Manchester United from scoring.

She received treatment from both teams for over half an hour, before an ambulance finally arrived to take the defender to hospital. This raised many questions with supporters wondering why an ambulance isn’t already at the game as they are for the men’s games. The answer to that question, a difference in regulations. The rules stipulate that one must be present at all men’s football matches, but no rule exists for the women’s game. 

Manchester City have previously complained to The FA way back in 2017 after their forward Pauline Bremer was forced to wait an hour for the ambulance to arrive after she had broken her leg against Everton.

The referee then had to make the decision to postpone the game following all the oxygen that was onsite being used to treat Charlotte, meaning there was none left for the rest of the match. The regulations state that there has to be oxygen available for the game to continue. As Charlton didn’t bring any and Manchester United had to use all their oxygen to help treat the Charlton defender, there wasn’t any left.

That’s pretty shocking, would that happen in a men’s game? No, the answer is they probably have stockpiles of it. Plus several ambulances are usually onsite so at worst they’d be able to get more. Why did Charlton not have any? They where the home team, they shouldn’t be relying on United to bring it. Did they forget it or this usual practice in women’s football for only one team to bring it?

Luckily for Charlotte Kerr, United did have some. But what if the ambulance had taken even longer to arrive and they needed more oxygen than they had till it arrived. The player’s and supporters are being put at risk by this.

The FA need to carry out a serious overhaul of the safety procedures within Women’s Football here in the UK. If they truly aspire to have the women’s game reach a similar height the men’s game has, or anywhere near it, then they need to improve on issues like this.

What are the reasons for the differences in regulations between the men’s game and the women’s game? All of them are playing a professional sport, all of them are at risk of serious injury. The safety procedures should be the same for both.

The Manchester United fans had a long trip down south for the game, which got postponed after only 12 minutes of play. It isn’t fair on those travelling fans that one serious injury can bring the game to an end. It’s frankly embarrassing and needs to be sorted out.

I would like on behalf of everyone at Sunday League Sports to wish Charlotte Kerr all the best and that she has a very speedy recovery.

Featured Image by James Boyes. Displayed under Creative Commons.