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Jonas Eidevall: Arsenal boss questions whether women’s Super League should prioritize underfloor heating


Jonas Eidevall agrees canceling WSL matches due to Emma Hayes’ frozen pitch is ‘bad for the league’, but Arsenal head coach says basement heating should now be a priority I don’t think so.

Last weekend’s WSL action was marred by a late postponement and games being canceled due to freezing weather.

Sunday’s Chelsea-Liverpool match was called off after just six minutes due to conditions jeopardizing the safety of the players, leaving managers Hayes and Matt Beard furious that the match went ahead first.

Hayes went on to say the WSL should be able to use the same technology (such as underground heating) as the men’s competition to avoid further delays, but Aidvar said there are different factors to consider. Stated.

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Highlights from the Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Chelsea

“I don’t think it’s as easy as underground heating,” said Aydebal before Arsenal’s Continental Cup quarter-final against Aston Villa on Thursday.

“I think you have to look at all the investment angles.

“When you compare the cost of underground heating with the cost of a proper academy system to develop more British players, it is not easy to see how to prioritize those costs.

“In life in general it’s easy to try to fix the topic of the day. I totally agree with Emma. What happened in the Chelsea game, playing those minutes is really bad for the league. That was it.

“But when you zoom out you have to see where your investment priorities are and you can’t make emotional decisions because yesterday there was an issue where all the money was going to be there. It’s not good for women’s soccer.

“We need to make good long-term decisions about where money should be spent for women’s football, and at this point it is highly doubtful whether it should be geothermal.”

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The WSL match between Chelsea and Liverpool was called off after just six minutes after the pitch was assessed as unplayable, and Sue Smith said it wouldn’t happen again.

“My long-term plan is to play for the Emirates.”

Arsenal’s trip to Brighton was set to be broadcast live sky sports, was also postponed at 4:11 pm on Sunday, two hours and 34 minutes before the scheduled 6:45 pm kick-off time at Broadfield Stadium. Tottenham’s match against Leicester City was another game for him against sub-zero conditions.

With the cold weather continuing this week, Arsenal have announced that a ‘final decision’ on their home game against Villa will be made on Thursday afternoon, more than seven hours before kick-off scheduled at Boreham Wood. enough notice.

The north London club has also explored the possibility of moving its fixtures to Emirates Stadium, a 60,000-seat venue where both men’s and women’s teams have played this season, but that scenario is “essential pitch maintenance”. was not possible because of

Arsenal Women are set to take on Aston Villa at Meadow Park on Thursday night
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Arsenal will conduct a pitch inspection seven hours before kick-off.

“Our long-term plan is to try to stay with Emirates forever. That’s our long-term plan,” Aidvar said. “But I don’t think the league is at a stage where it can impose that requirement on every club.

“Some clubs have that potential, but what about teams freshly promoted from the championship? How quickly can they meet stadium requirements? It’s about being there.

“Maybe we’ll have to look at what stadium requirements we have to play in the league. But the WSL and the championship have teams that need time to meet them, so it’s It cannot be done tomorrow.

“It could happen in, say, five years. The league said, ‘This is a requirement, it went into effect on this date, and now everyone is given a certain amount of time to meet it. Leagues that need to be filled.

“I think it makes sense. Every league in the world has a stadium requirement. It’s the league that solves it.”

‘People are taking advantage of the postponement rule’

However, Eidevall suggested that the WSL needs clearer rules regarding postponements.

“The league is very weak on the subject given the number of games postponed each year for various reasons,” he said.

“There are no clear regulations on what happens to postponed matches. When will they play? Will they play on one side of the transfer window? Which team will have a say in when they will play?

“People take advantage of it, they took advantage of it last year. I was upset about it. The rules need to be clarified. If a game is postponed to Sunday, we can’t play on Monday. of?

“There may be a reason for that, but why do we have to play it back after three months? We have to be transparent with the proper process.”

Arsenal's Stina Blackstenius during the Barclays Women's Super League match at LV Bet Stadium Meadow Park
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Arsenal are due to take on Aston Villa at Boreham Wood’s Meadow Park on Thursday night.

Christiansen: Action needed after last weekend

Everton midfielder Jizzy Christiansen has called for action to address the number of Women’s Super League games lost to bad weather after a ‘dark weekend’ in the Women’s Super League.

The match between Chelsea and Liverpool Kingsmeadow passed a pitch inspection two hours before kick-off at 12:30pm, but after Blues midfielder Erin Cuthbert fell hard in the fifth minute, referee Neil Hare said he was We decided that the pitch was unplayable and stopped the match.

Christiansen said he wanted to avoid a recurrence of the “shocking” situation at Kingsmeadow and not undermine the momentum and integrity of the game, which has grown exponentially following Liones’ euro success last summer. said a long-term solution was needed.

Kingsmeadow ground staff try to clear ice from the pitch ahead of Chelsea's WSL match against Liverpool
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Kingsmeadow ground staff try to clear ice from the pitch ahead of Chelsea’s WSL match against Liverpool

Christiansen said: “Action needs to be taken, perhaps what really happened, why and how the FA and clubs are moving forward to prevent this from happening in the future. We need to investigate,” he said. sky sports.

“It doesn’t sound like a broken record, but with the cold weather at this time of year in England, a decision needs to be made from the FA to the clubs in order to proceed with the game, because again about scheduling the women’s calendar. Because we’re talking about a backlog of games towards the end of the season – and it’s back to player welfare issues again.

“When it comes to player welfare, when it comes to women’s football, we are used to dealing with more issues than men’s football and career battles.

“Whether or not a match is played is nothing new for many players, due to weather and other circumstances. As a female player, I think we are used to the uncertainty of matches.

FA Pitch Inspection Guidance

When dealing with elements such as frost and ice, remember that the maximum temperature of the day is usually around noon.Predict the expected temperature at the end of the match, if desired

– Personnel available to the home club to do the work necessary to make the ground playable

– The time the visiting club is scheduled to start the trip

– Communicate with managers and assess both clubs’ ideas

Remember, the referee makes the decision whether or not to play the match.

“We are talking about a really dark weekend in the WSL. The lack of clarity and lack of decision making represents where the game is right now. It’s a very worrying situation for us as players and for the authorities as well. What happened and how the women’s game is in the spotlight and is brighter than ever at this point.

“It can’t be changed overnight. We need a long-term solution. This won’t happen again next season. For now all I have to think about is better decisions, more It’s an informed decision and to protect, not just the players, but the game and its integrity as well, because a game that’s abandoned 6 minutes after it started is really a setback. Because it will let you.

“The Arsenal vs. Brighton match was called off earlier and the Tottenham vs. Leicester match was called off with about 24 hours notice. So I think we have to be realistic.’ There aren’t enough stadiums with under-the-soil heating and higher specs to keep the game going in any weather.

“I understand that the women’s game has not yet taken place, but it is a dark day for women’s football that the game will be called off six minutes after it has started.”

A spokesperson for the Women’s Super League said: Referee.

“However, shortly after kick-off, the referee made the decision to call off the match to protect the safety of the players.



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