Daily Digest: New FA Cup dates confirmed as competition resumes

Man City win FA Cup

In today's news: Dates confirmed for rescheduled FA Cup fixtures, Chelsea and Manchester City get a foot in the door of the Champions League knockouts and jockey Hollie Doyle equals her own racing record.

FA Cup return dates confirmed

The postponed Vitality Women's FA Cup will return to action on March 31 after receiving the green light from the government's new roadmap announcement. The competition was brought to a halt in order to coincide with the recent lockdown restrictions, however, grassroots football is set to safely return as of March 29.

This will see the 2020/21 FA Cup campaign get underway, with the first four rounds spanning across March and April. Conversations regarding a fixed date for the fifth round of fixtures are still being held.

Holding champions Manchester City will be hoping to retain their crown as they gear up for a jam-packed schedule over the coming months.


Chelsea and Man City bank Champions League wins

The two English sides left in Europe both came away with wins last night as Chelsea and Manchester City faced Atletico Madrid and Fiorentina respectively.

There was drama from the off at Kingsmeadow after Sophie Ingle was shown the red card for her challenge on Rasheedat Ajibade in the box after just 12 minutes. The resulting penalty was saved by Ann-Katrin Berger, who would go on to make yet another stop from the spot in the second half.

A penalty at the other end gave Chelsea the lead as Maren Mjelde tucked away her effort, with Fran Kirby finding her side's second to give them a solid aggregate score leading into the away leg.

Up in Manchester, City breezed past Fiorentina, who struggled with just 27% of possession. After just four minutes of play, the Sky Blues were 2-0 to the good thanks to Lauren Hemp and Ellen White. A second-half header from substitute Sam Mewis put the game beyond the Italian side's reach.

City and Chelsea join Barcelona, Wolfsburg and Bayern Munich with first leg victories in the Round of 16.


Hollie Doyle equals own record at Kempton

Jockey Hollie Doyle has equalled her own record by winning five consecutive races at one meeting. The 24-year-old became the first woman to achieve this accolade following her winning run at Windsor last year.

Doyle was pushing for six consecutive wins this time around but came up short against final race favourite Chinese Whisperer.

She boasts the highest result for a woman to date in the Flat Jockeys' Championship after her fourth-place finish in 2020 and she also came third in BBC Sport's Personality of the Year awards the same year.


England and Wales Cricket Board appoint new chair of equality commission

The England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has made the decision to appoint Cindy Butts as the chair of the Independent Commission for Equity in Cricket. After being founded in November, the body strives to squash discrimination of all kinds within the sport.

The mission statement will involve assessing cases of inequality within cricket and mapping how to tackle the issues moving forwards.

A recent survey conducted by the Professional Cricketers' Association revealed that 14 black, Asian and minority ethnic professional cricketers had either witnessed or experienced racism within their sport.

Butts was previously involved with the Metropolitan Police Authority, where she acted as deputy chair. She has stressed that she is "committed to ensuring that cricket has a bright future in this country".


Women's football to benefit from £300m summer package

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced that a £300 million summer recovery package has been approved as part of the budget to benefit a number of different sports. The aid will be divided between cricket, horse racing, tennis, rugby league and women's football.

Sunak has approved an overall £700 million fund to support art, culture and sport. It has been outlined that the Women's Super League, and women's football in general, will be one of their priorities moving into the summer as the aid package comes into play.

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