The FA Youth Cup has been suspended until at least the end of the national lockdown.
The FA has confirmed the decision this afternoon, in what should have been a week of third round ties including Stoke City against Burton Albion on Friday.
Stoke had been planning to live stream the match from the bet365 Stadium but everything is on hold following discussions between clubs, football authorities and the Government.
A statement from the FA said: “The health and wellbeing of players and staff are of paramount importance and we intend to resume the national competition once the UK Government’s current national Covid-19 lockdown concludes and it is deemed safer for clubs to travel.
“The FA Youth Participation and Development Committee, which is responsible for management of the competition, will continue to review the situation and we will provide further updates at the earliest opportunity.”
Stoke under-18s, as a Category One Academy, have been able to carry on training this season after strict protocols were put in place to mitigate the virus. Stoke are still scheduled to take on Liverpool in the u18s Premier League on Saturday, January 23.
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Rich Walker’s side had reached the final of the Premier League Cup last season – the final game that Stoke fans were able to attend before the first national lockdown.
Michael O’Neill has overseen the promotion of youth graduates to the first team fold this term, including Nathan Collins, Harry Souttar and Tyrese Campbell.