Why will Arsenal star Leah Williamson not be playing for England at the World Cup, with the Lionesses set to play their first game this weekend
The Arsenal defender has enjoyed a remarkable year with England. Williamson was part of the side that won the Euros last year when they defeated Germany in the final at Wembley.
The 26-year-old also captained the Lionesses to victory in the Women’s Finalissima earlier this year.
But why is Leah Williamson not playing at the World Cup? Who are England playing? Mail Sport provides the answers below.
Arsenal star Leah Williamson will not be a part of this year’s World Cup in Australia and New Zealand
The defender was part of the England side that won the Euros and the Women’s Finalissima
Why is Leah Williamson not playing at the World Cup?
She appeared to get her foot caught in the turf before twisting her knee and immediately signalled she was in pain, before being helped off the pitch by the club’s medical staff.
Arsenal have not put a timeframe on Williamson’s recovery – but it is likely that she won’t be back till around the end of the year.
Beth Mead and Fran Kirby are two other big names who will not feature at the tournament this year.
The defender confirmed that she will head to the tournament to support her fellow team-mates.
The defender will not feature at the World Cup after she ruptured her ACL during Arsenal’s clash against Manchester United
‘I’m a believer so I’ll hold onto that,’ the defender told Sky Sports News.
‘The girls have got as good a chance as anyone.
‘I can’t wait to watch them and I’m so proud of them already. I’ll be out there with my brother so it’s a nice opportunity to soak it up and do it on the other side of the fence for a little bit.’
Williamson also spoke on her recovery ahead of the new season: ‘It is going well. Really well actually.
‘It’s an annoying injury because it’s so slow but I’m doing really well.’
Who will England be playing?
England will play their opening game of the tournament against Haiti on Saturday morning.
The Lionesses, who were drawn in Group D, will also face Denmark and China.
England’s group stage fixtures for this year’s World Cup is as follows:
- Group D – England v Haiti (Brisbane Stadium) at 10.30am
- Group D – England v Denmark (Sydney Football Stadium) at 9.30am
- Group D – China PR v England (Hindmarsh Stadium) at 12pm
England will begin their tournament against Haiti this weekend at the Brisbane Stadium
How to watch
All 64 matches in this summer’s FIFA Women’s World Cup will be broadcast live on terrestrial TV in the UK after the BBC and ITV clinched a joint rights deal.
The move, which includes live audio commentary on BBC 5 Live and 5 Sports Extra, comes after FIFA and the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) agreed to extend their existing media rights partnership.
There had been a threat of a broadcasting blackout in Europe’s Big Five nations – England, Spain, Italy, Germany, France – following bids of £800,000-£8m ($1m-$10m), which Gianni Infantino insisted were unfair.