Olympics-Goalkeeper Bardsley pulls out of Team GB women's squad due to injury

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Women's International Friendly - England v Canada - bet365 Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent, England, Britain - April 13, 2021 England's Karen Bardsley Action Images via Reuters/Carl Recine

(Reuters) - England goalkeeper Karen Bardsley has withdrawn from Britain's women's soccer squad for the Tokyo Olympics due to an injury she picked up last month, Team GB said on Saturday.

Bardsley was among the two goalkeepers named in coach Hege Riise's 18-member squad for the Tokyo Games.

The 36-year-old, who is on loan at OL Reign from Manchester City, sustained the injury in a match against Washington Spirit in the United States' National Women's Soccer League.

"After a difficult road back to fitness and form, being selected for Tokyo felt like the greatest achievement," Bardsley said in a statement https://www.teamgb.com/article/karen-bardsley-withdraws-from-team-gb-womens-football-squad/3p9pVBZOhtc7Gsd4qwbaOK. "Then, to be forced to withdraw through injury so close to the Games feels devastatingly cruel.

"Regardless of the situation, I'll do whatever I can to help my teammates and Team GB every step along the way. I wish nothing but success for everyone."

Team GB said Bardsley's replacement will be announced later.

Britain, who crashed out in the quarter-finals at the 2012 London Olympics, are in Group E this year where they face Chile in the opening game on July 21, followed by hosts Japan three days later and Canada on July 27.

(Reporting by Manasi Pathak in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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