Chelsea, Liverpool fume after WSL clash abandoned after six minutes due to frozen pitch

Players and managers have voiced their anger after the Women's Super League match between Chelsea and Liverpool was called off after just six minutes due to the pitch being frozen on Sunday.

The pitch had been inspected at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday morning and the game kicked off at 12:30 p.m. despite visible patches of ice on the field.

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Both managers have voiced their dissapointment in the decision with Chelsea boss Emma Hayes saying that the match "never should have started."

"You could see from the opening minutes that it was like an ice rink down the sides," Hayes told the BBC after the match was suspended.

"It's not for managers to decide if it's on -- it's up to the FA and officials. We have to say to ourselves that it's time for undersoil heating. We've got to take our game seriously. Yes, we can have our blowers and pitch tents but it's not enough.

"I understand; we have to put player safety first. We've made progress with investment into the quality of grasses and surfaces across the league. No game at the top level of the women's game should be cancelled. We need undersoil heating -- we don't live in Barbados."

Liverpool manager Matt Beard echoed the same sentiments saying to the BBC after the game: "They said about the players slipping on several occasions. Both players from both sides have slipped. Like I said before, the game should have never gone ahead.

"They were going to give it a chance, so that was the explanation. It wasn't safe down there [the dugout side]. There were patches in the centre and other areas. I guess where they had the heat [it thawed], but for the majority of the pitch that wasn't the case."

The WSL released a statement later on Sunday saying they "worked hard" with the officials and clubs "safely play the match as scheduled" after the pitch was said to be playable in the initial inspection.

"Following inspections before the match, the pitch was deemed to playable by the matchday official," the statement said.

"However, shortly after kick off, the referee made the decision to abandon the match in order to protect the safety of the players which is paramount."

The statement went on to apologise to fans who have travelled to watch the game and said the fixture would be rescheduled.

Players across the league have also spoken out on social media following the match, demanding better conditions for the women's game in England.

"On a serious note, one of the top leagues in Europe and we are cancelling games cause of frozen pitches. Not good enough, the women's game is heading in the right direction but still a long way to go," England and Arsenal forward Beth Mead said on twitter.

Arsenal teammate Vivianne Miedema posted: "Players safety should always come first. Luckily no one got injured today. Only way to fix this is to demand undersoil heating or playing our games in men's stadiums."

Chelsea defender Kadeisha Buchanan called out the lack of respect for women footballers in England on her instagram story.

"It's mind blodding that there's games/training being cancelled because of frozen pitches throughout the league. Like bruv we play in a cold country. We should have heated pitches too. Where's our ratings as women's footballers? They honestly don't rate us," she said.

Chelsea midfielder Erin Cuthbert apologised to the fans after, saying on twitter: "So so sorry to all our fans who turned up today and braved the cold weather. This shouldn't be happening and we will demand more for our game. Angry and frustrated but we will be ready for Wednesday."

Chelsea and Liverpool are both set to play in the FA Cup quarterfinals on Wednesday, with Chelsea facing Tottenham and Liverpool taking on West Ham.

Elsewhere on Sunday, Tottenham vs. Leicester and Brighton's match against Arsenal were also postponed due to pitches being frozen.

In the two matches that did go ahead, West Ham took a confident 3-0 win over Everton while Manchester United beat Reading 1-0 to move top of the table on goal difference.