By Keith Hackett

24th Jan, 2023 | 1:13pm

Ex-Fifa official can't believe 'huge mistake' after 'ridiculous' new Liverpool controversy

Keith Hackett has slammed the “ridiculous” abandonment of Chelsea’s Women’s Super League clash with Liverpool on Sunday (22 January).

Speaking exclusively to Football Insider, the ex-Fifa and Premier League referee insisted the controversy will provide a “massive learning curve” for the women’s game.

The Women’s Super League clash between Chelsea and Liverpool at Kingsmeadow on Sunday (22 January) was abandoned after just five minutes of action due to a frozen pitch.

Speaking post-match (as quoted by the BBC), Blues boss Emma Hayes called for the women’s game to be “taken more seriously”, while Reds manager Matt Beard said the players were put at risk.

A pitch inspection was carried out three hours prior to kick-off, with a tent erected over the surface to try and thaw the ice.

But footage showed players slipping on the pitch regularly – with Chelsea star Erin Cuthbert’s nasty fall prompting referee Neil Hair to call time on the game.

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Hackett told Football Insider’s Ewan Kingsbury: “The referee is coming under criticism, and rightly so.

“One of the most difficult decisions you will have to make is to call the game off.

“This has not only impacted on the game, but also on the fans. The weather wasn’t going to change, so we should have had an early inspection – and a much earlier decision.

“To actually get six minutes into the game shows one thing. The referee didn’t take a ball onto the game, he didn’t let the players have a kickabout on the pitch.

“It’s a massive learning curve for him, and it’s a huge mistake to get to that position.

“It’s ridiculous. There was no way that game should have gone ahead.”

In other news, pundit suggests the real reason Naby Keita is quitting Liverpool after source’s reveal.