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A lively controversy revived by a match stopped due to frozen ground

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Mathieu Warnier, Media365, published on Sunday January 22, 2023 at 10:15 p.m.

The English women’s championship is at the heart of a controversy which was reignited by the postponement of the match between Chelsea and Liverpool this Sunday due to an unheated pitch which froze hard.

If the English Football Federation has launched the professionalization of women’s football at a forced march, everything does not yet seem to be in place. This Sunday, the long-awaited clash of the Women’s Super League between Chelsea and Liverpool reignited the controversy over the lack of means and consideration given to women’s practice at the highest level. A shame for the country of the European champions. Disputed this Sunday on the lawn of the Kingsmeadow stadium, south-west of London, which also hosts the matches of the Chelsea reserve, the meeting between Blues and Reds had to be stopped after only six minutes. Indeed, the lawn was completely frozen and the players multiplied the slips in these few moments of play, narrowly missing potential serious injuries. While an inspection of the field was made in the middle of the morning and a postponement of the match by 90 minutes was possible, the meeting started at the scheduled time, ie 1:30 p.m. Following the interruption, the maintenance staff tried everything possible to thaw the lawn.

Coaches regret the lack of heating for the lawns

However, the referee of the meeting preferred not to take the slightest risk with the health of the players and ordered the postponement of this long-awaited duel. Asked by the BBC, Chelsea coach Emma Hayes assured that “the match should never have started”. Assuring that “the field was not passable at 10:30 a.m.”, the latter strongly criticized the English football authorities. “Women’s football needs to be taken more seriously,” she added. It’s time we had heating under the lawns. Yes, we have our blowers and protective tarps, but that’s not enough. No women’s football game at this level should be canceled, end of story. On the Liverpool side, coach Matt Beard was on the same wavelength. “I don’t know why it took us six or seven minutes to realize it was frozen,” he said. I’m disgusted for our fans because they left at 5am to come when the game could have been postponed to 9.30am because the pitch was unsafe. ” Informed of this situation, Arsenal players Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema confided on social networks their incomprehension at the lack of heating for the lawn of Kingsmeadow. It is now to be hoped that such a situation will not happen again in the future.

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