Today was supposed to be the day in which we avenge our 2-1 loss to Liverpool back in September. However the frozen pitch at Kingsmeadow made that an impossible task.
Worst of all is that there was a pitch inspection just three hours before kick-off, with supporters already arriving at their sits in Kingsmeadow. To be fair Chelsea did make an effort to keep the field at its best condition by covering it from snow, and match officials decided to let the game proceed.
But once referee Paul Howard blew the whistle to begin the match, it was clear the pitch was unplayable. Twice Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert slipped on the grass due to its frozen state, risking a grave injury in both happenstances.
And so, seven minutes into the match the referee decided it was enough. Ball in hand, talks to Chelsea and Liverpool captains and head coaches, and heading to the tunnels as manager Emma Hayes was left to explain via megaphone to at least a thousand spectators from both clubs why the match was suspended.
Emma Hayes: 'The decision to call it off at this moment is wrong for the timing but right for the players.'— Kathryn Batte (@KathrynBatte) January 22, 2023
All in all just a shambles from the FA who could have done simple calculations given the weather today and how long it would take for the pitch to no longer be frozen, and then decide to suspend the match many hours before kick-off. Now we wait to know when the match will actually take place, hopefully on much better conditions.
The referee has taken the decision to abandon today's game due to a frozen pitch.— Chelsea FC Women (@ChelseaFCW) January 22, 2023
The club will provide a further announcement on the fixture in due course.#CFCW
Absolutely embarrassing for league to put players and supporters at risk to appease television crews.— Went to mow Kingsmeadow (@mowkingsmeadow) January 22, 2023
Game should’ve been called off anytime between 9:30-12:30pm