The Football Association has apologised after Birmingham goalkeeper Hannah Hampton was left in “floods of tears” after being told she had missed out on Olympic selection hours before a Women’s Super League game.
Hampton and two unnamed Everton players found out on Thursday they had not made the shortlist for Great Britain selection for the Games in Tokyo this summer.
Birmingham manager Carla Ward said the news affected Hampton’s performance in the 4-0 loss to Everton.
Ward and Everton boss Willie Kirk criticised the timing of the decision and the FA took full responsibility for the situation.
A statement from the FA said: “We apologise to the players and clubs concerned, and will also do so personally. The timing of the correspondence was an error but we take full responsibility for the upset this has caused.”
“This week we’ll be talking to the players because we are going from a very long list to a shorter long list and we will be letting players know that later this week.”
But that timing was shortly before the only game in the Women’s Super League on Thursday night and left Ward furious as Hampton made some mistakes in Birmingham’s heavy defeat.
Ward told the Telegraph: “Hannah has made three errors for the goals tonight. An hour-and-a-half before kick-off, the FA decided to give her a call and let her know she wasn’t in the Olympic squad. The girls are going out to warm-up and she’s in tears.
“The timing was absolutely ridiculous, thoughtless. We had a kid in floods of tears, and you can see that it’s clearly affected her out there.
“We’ll have to pick her up because she’s naturally going to be heartbroken.”
Everton boss Kirk added: “A player finding out that information two hours before kick-off is wrong in my opinion. I think it’s very, very poor.
“The players it affected have dealt with it very professionally tonight. Two players have got disappointing news. They’ve both put in really good performances.
“Two players have got good news and again, they didn’t let it affect them or get carried away with it. But I think it’s poor timing.”