Barbara Hambly, the former England and Great Britain captain, has criticised the All England Women's Association following their decision not to allow Olton to start their AEWHA Cup quarter-final match against Ipswich on Sunday at 4pm. This would have enabled the four Olton players who are representing the England Under 16-18 squads against Wales earlier in the day at Milton Keynes to play in the match.
Hambly said yesterday: "They [AEWHA] are just being real pigs. Our sponsor, Leisure Care, had arranged for a helicopter to be at Milton Keynes to airlift the four girls after their game to Ipswich. Our request for a 4pm start met with a no because the rules of the competition state that the result has to be in by 4.30. The sole reason appears to be to meet media deadlines.''
Teresa Morris, the AEWHA executive director, confirmed that they had refused Olton's request and that they were abiding by the regulations and that Ipswich did not want to play later.
Hambly said that the club were considering withdrawing from the competition but that would almost certainly result in a ban from next year's competition.
The solution would appear to be to start at 4pm, with Olton agreeing to pay the pounds 25 fine which would be incurred by Ipswich, the home team, for not meeting the results deadline.
Great Britain, with goals from Tina Cullen and Rhona Simpson, beat France 2-0 in the second of their two-Test series at Bisham Abbey yesterday. It was a mediocre performance against a defensive French team. Britain's goalkeeper, Carolyn Reid, did not even touch the ball.