It was like an ice rink – Emma Hayes was frustrated when Chelsea-Liverpool were eliminated

Chelsea manager Emma Hayes said “we have to take our game seriously” after their Women’s Super League home clash with Liverpool was abandoned after just six minutes due to frozen turf.

Hayes said the Kingsmeadow lunchtime game “should never have started” as she called for underfloor heating to be installed in WSL stadiums.

Three hours before kick-off at 12:30, the pitch was inspected and heaters turned on to make the surface fit for play, but the referee, after consultation with Hayes and Liverpool manager Matt Beard, led both teams out shortly after the game. began.

Chelsea will face Liverpool in the WSL

The match was abandoned shortly after kick-off (Zac Goodwin/PA).

After addressing fans, a clearly frustrated Hayes told the BBC: “You could see from the first minutes that it was like an ice rink on the sides.

“It’s not up to the managers to decide if he’s on – it’s up to the FA and officials. We have to tell ourselves that it’s time for underfloor heating.

“We have to take our game seriously. Yes, we can have our blowers and small tents, but it’s not enough.

“The game should never have started. Everyone wanted the game to go on, but when you have the emotion of teams wanting or not wanting to play, then you need a top-down decision.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Barclays Women's Super League - Kingsmeadow

There was an inspection of the pitch three hours before the game (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“The FA weren’t here – they have to make a decision.”

Beard said allowing the game to continue put players’ safety at risk.

The pitch was not found fit for play during the 9:30 am inspection, but as the pitch had improved with the use of heaters and cover, after another inspection before the teams had warmed up, it was decided that the match could go ahead as planned.

He told the BBC: “It should have been canceled this morning at 9.30am when an inspection of the pitch made it unplayable.

“They talked about the players slipping several times. Players on both sides slipped. As I said before, the game should never have gone ahead.

Chelsea v Liverpool - Barclays Women's Super League - Kingsmeadow

Liverpool manager Matt Beard said the match should not have gone ahead (Zac Goodwin/PA)

“They wanted to give it a chance, so that was the explanation. It wasn’t safe down there.

“There were patches in the center and other areas. My guess is where they had the heat (it thawed) but for most of the pitch it wasn’t.

A spokesperson for the WSL said: “We have been working hard with clubs and match officials to ensure that the Barclay’s Women’s Super League match between Chelsea and Liverpool is played safely as planned. After a pre-match inspection, the match referee declared the pitch fit for play.

“However, shortly after the start of the match, the referee made the decision to stop the match in order to protect the safety of the players, which is paramount. We sincerely apologize to all the fans who came to the game. The meeting will be rescheduled in due course.”

Frustrated players said more needs to be done to ensure matches are not canceled due to the weather at the top tier of women’s football.

Chelsea defender Kadeisha Buchanan said on Instagram: “It’s astonishing to see matches canceled across the league due to pitches being frozen.

“Like bruv, we play in a cold country. We should also have heated pitches. Where are our ratings as female soccer players.”

Her bandmate Erin Cuthbert added on Twitter: “Sorry to all our fans who showed up today and braved the cold weather.

“This should not be happening and we will demand more for our game. Angry and frustrated, but we’ll be ready by Wednesday.

Arsenal and England striker Beth Mead described the situation as “not good enough”.

She tweeted: “One of the best leagues in Europe and we are canceling matches due to frozen pitches. Not good enough, the women’s game is moving in the right direction, but still a long way to go.”

Sunday’s WSL matches between Tottenham and Leicester and Brighton against Arsenal have also been canceled due to frozen pitches, leaving only two of the scheduled five matches to be played.

In one, Rachel Williams scored a great late winner as Manchester United moved to the top of the table with a 1-0 win over Reading.

Katie Zelem missed a chance to lead United when her penalty on the 40th spot sent her team topside ahead of Chelsea on goal difference.

Also on Sunday, Everton recorded a third successive win after beating West Ham 3-0 at Walton Hall Park with goals from Karen Holmgaard, Megan Finnigan and Agnes Beever-Jones.

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