Emma Hayes hopes WSL authorities and clubs can come together to tackle frozen turf concerns

    EMMA HAYES insists WSL chiefs and clubs should come together to find a solution to prevent the chaos of frozen pitches halting games.

    The Chelsea boss suggested an environmentally friendly option could be part of the answer to a problem that goes beyond events at the Blues ground on Sunday.


    Emma Hayes says preventing frozen pitches from disrupting fixtures is a matter for the WSL as a whole to considerCredit: PA


    Hayes’ Chelsea side are due to face Tottenham away in a Conti Cup quarter-final fixture on Wednesday eveningCredit: Reuters


    Tottenham say an inspection of their pitch will take place on Wednesday afternoon to determine if the game will go ahead

    Hayes, whose players are due to visit Brisbane Road tomorrow evening for a Conti Cup quarters duel with Tottenham, was speaking two days after the postponement of her team’s WSL clash with Liverpool. 

    The Blues’ match at Kingsmeadow was one of three top tier games shelved due to icy pitches and player safety concerns.

    Tottenham’s duel with Leicester was also postponed along with Brighton’s Sunday night game against Arsenal. 

    Spurs confirmed a pitch check will be conducted on Wednesday afternoon at the ground they share with League Two men’s side Leyton Orient. 

    In an update shared via their web site, the club said: “The pitch inspection will take place at 2:00 pm on Wednesday.

    “A final decision on whether the match can be played will be made shortly after.

    “We will communicate the outcome of the inspection with supporters as soon as the match official has made the decision via the club website and social media channels.”

    Hayes, 46, has been in conversation with Chelsea’s owners in regard to frozen turf issues which saw the Blues’ clash against Liverpool called off after six minutes. 

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    She said: “I’ve spoken with our owners about it and they share the same vision and the same ideas that I do around the women’s game.

    “This isn’t about Chelsea, this is about women’s football being in a place where we’re working hard to build a fan base, build a business and to build all of those things.

    “This is about ensuring every match happens and maybe that’s something the league as a whole has to consider. 

    That’s about a consultation with the FA and clubs to ensure that those fixtures happen. It should be  non-negotiable.

    “Cancelling games has a detrimental impact on our sport.

    “Whatever it takes to ensure that fans who are travelling up and down the country are not having a game cancelled six minutes in, is something we should all work towards.

    “Undersoil heating – which someone quite rightly pointed out – is not exactly environmentally friendly.  

    “An environmentally friendly option for football pitches in an ideal world, so that we can play in the top division, is what I think we should expect.

    “Let’s hope we can work towards that.”

    Arsenal say a pitch inspection is due to be carried out at their Meadow Park home at midday Wednesday before their league cup duel with Aston Villa on Thursday night. 

    The club stated a decision on whether the game would go ahead will be taken immediately after the inspection. 


    A pitch inspection will take place at lunchtime on Wednesday at the ground Arsenal share with Boreham Wood before their Conti Cup match against Aston VillaCredit: PA

    However Arsenal said that it would not be possible for the match to be moved to the Emirates due to “essential pitch maintenance” work. 

    When asked what contingency could be put in place in the event of a WSL side having a frozen pitch and no access to their men’s team ground, Hayes added: “Maybe we reschedule winter games in stadiums that we know have undersoil heating for example.

    “Maybe that could be the next step. 


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