Vivianne Miedema and trainer Emma Hayes of Chelsea, among others, have called on the English Football Association FA to make field heating compulsory for clubs in the top women’s league. The game between Chelsea and Liverpool was stopped after 5 minutes on Sunday, because players slid down on frozen parts of the field.
“The safety of the players must always come first,” Miedema, the injured striker of Orange and Arsenal, writes on Twitter. “Fortunately no one was injured today. The only way to fix this is to make pitch heating compulsory or to play our matches in the men’s stadiums. FA and clubs, make sure you do this better.”
The referee had approved the field of Kingsmeadow stadium where the Chelsea women play their home games on Sunday morning. However, some parts of the turf turned out to be frozen when the game started. After some football players had slipped and were visibly bothered by it, the referee decided to stop the match. The whole situation led to quite a few aggrieved reactions. “This is embarrassing for the league, the players and everyone involved,” said former England coach Hope Powell.
“This game should never have started,” said Chelsea coach Hayes, the champion of the past three years in the Women’s Super League. “After the kick-off you immediately saw that it was just like an ice rink on the sides of the field. It is not up to the trainers to decide on this, the referees have to determine whether a match can be played or not. We now have to compete against each other say it’s really time for pitch heating. We have to take our sport seriously. Yes, we can work with blowers and tents or sails over the pitch. But that’s not enough.”
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