The 2020/21 FA Youth Cup is to be temporarily suspended, the Football Association have announced...

The decision was confirmed in a statement from the FA this afternoon (Tuesday) and comes into immediate effect until further notice.

Chelsea's Under-18s progressed into the fourth round of this season's competition having defeated Barnsley 8-1 in December. Our next opponents will be the winners of the Cambridge United versus AFC Fylde tie, which was due to played this week. However, progression will now be halted until current UK Government lockdown restrictions are lifted.

The statement from the FA reads:

'The FA can confirm its decision to temporarily suspend the 2020/21 FA Youth Cup and has discussed this with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport.

'The health and wellbeing of players and staff are of paramount importance and The FA intends 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 & Development Committee, which is responsible for management of the competition, will continue to review the situation and The FA will provide further updates at the earliest opportunity.

'For the avoidance of doubt, all matches in The FA Youth Cup are now suspended with immediate effect until further notice.'