'Not good enough': Beth Mead blasts Chelsea vs Liverpool abandonment

Sam Kerr of Chelsea leaves the pitch after the abandonment of the Women's Super League match between Chelsea and Liverpool on 22 January, 2023 at Kingsmeadow in Norbiton, United Kingdom.ki
(Image credit: Jacques Feeney/Offside via Getty Images)

Euro 2022 hero and BBC Sports Personality of the Year Beth Mead says that women's football still has 'a long way to go', after Sunday's Women's Super League clash between leaders Chelsea (opens in new tab) and Liverpool (opens in new tab) was abandoned within six minutes of kick-off.

Following a morning pitch inspection at a chilly Kingsmeadow, the game went ahead – but the action had barely got going when referee Paul Howard deemed the pitch unplayable, prompting uproar throughout the women's game.

Reacting to a spoof petition calling for undersoil heating in women's football, Arsenal (opens in new tab) striker Mead – who was named Player of the Tournament as England won last summer's Euros on home soil – expressed her despair at the situation. "Not good enough," she wrote.

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Chelsea boss Emma Hayes was equally unimpressed with the state of affairs, questioning whether the match should have gone ahead in the first place. She told the Blues' official website (opens in new tab):

"You could see from the opening minutes it was like an ice rink down the sides.

"It’s not for managers to decide that; it’s for the officials to decide if a game is on. It’s minus one degrees; it’s the right decision; it probably shouldn’t have been on to start with.

"[The pitch] was ok earlier, but as soon as we took the covers off it started to freeze again and the temperature hasn’t improved since the first check with the officials at 9:30am."

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...