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Thorns awarded win and 3 points for forfeited Spirit game

·2 min read
Portland Thorns FC head coach Mark Parsons, center, talks to his team during the first half of an NWSL soccer match against OL Reign, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

The Washington Spirit's postponed match against the Portland Thorns has been deemed a forfeit by the National Women's Soccer League.

Portland will earn the victory and three points for the match, which was originally scheduled for Sept. 4 but postponed because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the Spirit.

The NWSL also announced Thursday that the Spirit were fined $25,000 for a “breach of the league's medical protocols.”

It is the second match the Spirit have been forced to forfeit. Their scheduled game last Saturday against OL Reign was also forfeited because of a breach of protocols.

“We, the members of the Washington Spirit organization, sincerely apologize and take full responsibility for breaking protocols that forced our previous two matches to be canceled,” the Spirit said in a statement issued on Twitter. “We understand that our actions have serious consequences and that we have let our fans down. Moving forward, we are committed to being better and adhering to all protocols.”

Under FIFA rules, the opponent of a team that forfeits a game is given a 3-0 victory and three points in the league standings.

Following the forfeit of the game against the Reign, some on the Thorns began asking on social media why they didn't earn the points for their postponed match, which was not rescheduled.

“We were just confused why it was taking so long to give us the three points because I think it was worse for us than it was for the Reign because they kind of knew this was going on, and for us it was a game-day decision,” Portland defender Kelli Hubly said. “So, I think it was just 'OK, you’re going to give them three points but where’s ours?’”

Four Spirit players tested positive for COVID-19 before the first match against the Thorns.

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