Emma Hayes says Chelsea clash with Liverpool should not have gone ahead after WSL game is called off due to frozen pitch


EMMA HAYES called the turf at Kingsmeadow “an ice rink” after Chelsea were forced to postpone their WSL clash with Liverpool.

The 12:30pm match – which was being aired live on BBC Two – was halted after just six minutes due to frosty pitch conditions.

AlamyChelsea’s clash with Liverpool became the second WSL duel to fall foul of frozen pitch conditions this weekend[/caption]

AlamyThe match was called off after just six minutes by referee Neil Hair due to icy conditions at Kingsmeadow[/caption]

AlamyEmma Hayes addressed the crowd at Kingsmeadow to apologise for the game being halted[/caption]

PALiverpool boss Matt Beard says the match could have been called off before it kicked[/caption]

Mild boos rang out from the crowd which included fans who travelled down to London from Liverpool early this morning to watch Matt Beard’s side in action.

A pitch inspection took place at 9:30 today with Chelsea tweeting that the fixture would go ahead.

But the match was later halted by referee Neil Hair with the surface being deemed unsafe to play on before officially being called off in the ninth minute.

The game was the second WSL fixture to be called off due to a frozen pitch with Tottenham’s duel with Leicester also postponed.

Hayes apologised to supporters who travelled to the ground saying the decision to call off the match was wrong in terms of the timing but right for the players in terms of safety

The Chelsea chief told BBC Sport: “Where do you begin? You can see from the opening minutes it’s like an ice rink down the sides.

“For Matt Beard he’s upset that it got to that point and he’s right.

“It’s not for managers to decide that, it’s for the FA and officials to determine when it’s on.

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“We did have heaters on. I think this is when we have to start saying to ourselves we have to have undersoil heating.

“We have got to take our game seriously.

 “Yes, we can have blowers and little pitch tents, but it’s not going to be enough – it’s minus one (degrees here).”

When BBC Sport guest pundit Hope Powell asked if the game should have started, Hayes said “never”.

The Chelsea chief added: “You know everybody wants to get the game on.

“But when you got emotions of one team wants to play, one team doesn’t want to play, that’s when you have to have outside parties there.

“There’s no FA here and they need to be at our games to execute those decisions.”

Reds chief Beard criticised the length of time it took to make the decision to postpone the game with players thought to have complained about the turf being slippery.

Hayes’ and Beard’s teams will face each other in the FA Cup fourth round next SundayAlamy

When asked for this thoughts on what referee communicated to him, Beard said: “I don’t know why it took six or seven minutes that it was frozen.

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“It was frozen in the morning and frozen in the warm-up.

“I’m just gutted for our fans because they set off at five o’clock this morning when it could have been postponed at 9:30 because the pitch wasn’t safe.”

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