After an initial postponement, the Washington Spirit have been forced to forfeit their match against the Portland Thorns FC on Thursday.
The first-placed Thorns will be awarded all three points and a 3-0 win in accordance with FIFA guidelines. With a breach of the league's coronavirus protocols, however, the National Women's Soccer League handed down a $25,000 fine
It's the second straight match the Spirit have had to forfeit as a result of a breach of protocols.
"We, the members of the Washington Spirit organization, sincerely apologize and take full responsibility for breaking protocols that forced our previous two matches to be canceled," the Spirit said in a statement. "We understand our actions have serious consequences and we have let our fans down. Moving forward, we are committed to being better and adhering to all protocols."
The Spirit's second straight forfeiture comes amidst plenty of front office turnover. Former coach Richie Burke was moved to a front office role before being ousted after Washington Post reports detailed allegations of emotional and verbal abuse to the players. Burke stepped down and Jim Gabarra was named the team's new manager. Longtime D.C. United manager Ben Olsen was hired as the club president on Sept. 2, but both have yet to experience leading their team to game action.
Washington's next game is slated for Sept. 26 against Kansas City. Credited with their sixth loss of the season, the Spirit remain in the sixth and final playoff spot with six games left.