‘There HAS to be another solution!’: Chelsea Women’s boss Emma Hayes calls for equal opportunities in the WSL after clash with Liverpool was abandoned just six minutes in due to a frozen pitch
Emma Hayes has called for the women’s game to be afforded equal opportunities to ensure that fixtures are not cancelled in the future, insisting that it has a ‘detrimental impact on our sport’.
The Chelsea Women’s boss has publicly shared her dismay at her side’s WSL clash with Liverpool on Sunday being abandoned after just six minutes due to a frozen pitch – despite the game passing a pitch inspection two-and-a-half hours before kick off.
Speaking on Tuesday, Hayes called for more to be done in the women’s game to make sure fans are not left in a similar situation.
The match was abandoned after just six minutes due to a frozen pitch – despite the game passing a pitch inspection two-and-a-half hours before kick off
‘I’ve said this for years, cancelling games has a detrimental impact on our sport,’ she said.
‘So whatever that takes to ensure that fans who are travelling from up and down the country are not showing up and having a game cancelled six minutes in is something we should all work towards.’
Chelsea’s game was one of three to be postponed in the WSL. Tottenham v Leicester was called off on Saturday night while Brighton’s game with Arsenal was postponed two and a half hours before kick-off.
‘If this is the top division for women’s football then it should be afforded exactly the same opportunity,’ Hayes added.
‘So as far as I’m concerned this isn’t about Chelsea, this is about Women’s Football and being in a place where we are working hard to build a fanbase, to build a business, to build all of those things with many, many years without equal access to things.’
Ground staff were seen trying to warm the pitch at Kingsmeadow as players warmed up
Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert grazed her leg on the frozen pitch while putting in a tackle early on in the game
Hayes, who promised to buy fans a hot dog at the next game in an impassioned speech at Kingsmeadow on Sunday, suggested that an environmentally friendly alternative to undersoil heating to prevent pitches being frozen is something ‘we can all expect’ and she hopes that work can continue towards that.
She has called on the WSL and the clubs in the league to come up with a way of making sure games can always go ahead.
‘We’ve got pitch covers and heaters that are designed to prevent frozen pitches, so if they don’t do that job, then we have to have another solution for that and that’s not my job to do that,’ she added.
‘That’s for the league and the clubs to work through the best solutions so we never cancel games.’
Hayes’ side are currently second in the WSL, but they are level on points with league leaders Manchester United.
Chelsea return to league action against Spurs on February 5 after first playing the north London club in the FA WSL quarter-finals.
They will also be hosting Liverpool again but this time in the fourth round of the FA Women’s Cup.