Written by Oluwaseun Oyediji
Chelsea’s WSL match against Liverpool was abandoned after six minutes on Sunday due to a frozen pitch; Blues boss Emma Hayes questioned whether the current equipment used to help unfreeze pitches in the Barclays English FA Women’s Super League (WSL) is good enough for the league
Chelsea Women’s head coach Emma Hayes says as a top national division the WSL should be allocated the same resources as men’s football following the postponement of their game against Liverpool due to a frozen pitch
Emma Hayes says as a top football division similar to the Premier League, the Women’s Super League should be afforded the same access to undersoil heating and other resources.
Six minutes into Chelsea’s game against Liverpool on Sunday, the match was abandoned due to a frozen pitch, with players consistently slipping over and struggling to play.
It led to outrage among the women’s football community, with the likes of Fara Williams, Vivianne Miedema, and Beth Mead expressing their dismay on social media.
While many Premier League and Championship grounds have undersoil heating to prevent frozen pitches from cancelling games, most WSL grounds – such as Chelsea’s Kingsmeadow – do not have such.
“There is no doubt that up and down the country, frozen pitches are cancelling games in every league outside the Premier League, so these things happen,” she told Sky Sports.
Blues manager Hayes believes that – as the WSL is the top division of women’s football, the same as the Premier League is to the men’s game – the clubs must have access to the same technology to avoid further postponements.
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“But the WSL is the top division in the women’s game as far as I’m concerned and should be afforded the same access and opportunity that is there at the top division of the men’s game.”
Chelsea and Liverpool’s WSL match was abandoned after just six minutes following an assessment to say the pitch was unplayable and Sue Smith says it cannot happen again
“The WSL is the same level as the Premier League – just because we’re women, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be afforded the same access.
“What that reflection is not for me to determine. I think that is about a consultation between the FA and the clubs to ensure those fixtures happen. It should be non-negotiable and if not, don’t schedule them.
“I think in general, if this is the top division of women’s football, then we should be afforded exactly the same opportunities.”
Only three points separate Manchester United, Chelsea, and Arsenal at the top of the WSL standings.
The race tightened even further last weekend as some matches were postponed due to icy pitches.
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Kingsmeadow, home of Chelsea’s women’s team, was deemed unplayable on Sunday after they attempted to play their match against Liverpool for six minutes.
Arsenal forward Vivianne Miedema called for solutions, tweeting: “Players’ safety should always come first. Luckily no one got injured today. Only way to fix this is to demand undersoil heating or playing our games in men’s stadiums. FA and clubs, please do better. 🙏🏽”
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