Charlton Athletic Women’s Championship game with Manchester United was abandoned on Sunday because the home side had no oxygen to treat injured players – despite league rules stipulating clubs must have oxygen on site.
A collision as Manchester United’s Charlie Devlin opened the scoring left Charlotte Kerr, the Charlton winger, requiring oxygen and treatment from both sets of medical staff, with the player leaving hospital the following day with badly bruised ribs.
Medics had to use United’s supply as they waited for an ambulance that is understood to have taken in the region of 40 minutes to arrive. The referee had originally intended to resume play after the collision.
Championship debutants Charlton have not had oxygen at any of their nine home games this season and are currently compiling information to submit to the FA’s investigation, the result of which could see changes to the governing body’s medical guidelines.
The FA WSL and Women’s Championship rules state that clubs must provide emergency equipment “to include as a minimum a spinal board, cervical collar, fracture splints, crutches, stretchers, oxygen and a defibrillator”. The sanction for failure to comply with rules relating to medical assistance is a £500 fine.
There is, however, no stipulation for the amount of oxygen required. Charlton, in theory, could have supplied two minutes’ worth of oxygen and still met the FA’s threshold.