Karen Bardsley has withdrawn from the Team GB women’s football squad for the Olympics due to injury.
The Manchester City goalkeeper, currently on loan at NWSL side OL Reign, had been named as one of two goalkeepers in head coach Hege Riise’s 18-player squad for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, but she will now miss out after getting hurt in the closing stages against Washington Spirit on May 31.
Bardsley said: "After a difficult road back to fitness and form, being selected for Tokyo felt like the greatest achievement. Then, to be forced to withdraw through injury so close to the Games feels devastatingly cruel.
Tokyo 2020
The 88 seconds that cost Team GB
30/07/2021 AT 14:46
Regardless of the situation, I’ll do whatever I can to help my team-mates and Team GB every step along the way. I wish nothing but success for everyone.
Riise said: "Losing Karen is a big blow for us – but more importantly for her. She has been an incredible international goalkeeper for many years and her presence in the squad would have also helped the younger players in the group.
"Of course, this is football and this means an opportunity for someone else to take. The group are very positive about the challenge ahead and can’t wait to get started.”
A decision on her replacement is set to be announced shortly.
Great Britain face Chile in Group E on the opening day of the Games in Sapporo on July 21, followed by Japan on July 24 and Canada on July 27.
The final is on August 6.
Tokyo 2020 (W)
Great Britain suffer extra-time loss to Australia - Olympic quarter-final as it happened
30/07/2021 AT 08:08
Tokyo 2020
Late White goal sees Team GB through to knockout stages with victory over Japan
24/07/2021 AT 12:33