Canberra coach blasts FFA for delay decision
Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova is unimpressed with the FFA. Photo: Melissa Adams
Canberra United coach Jitka Klimkova has criticised Football Federation Australia's late decision to postpone their Saturday match against the Western Sydney Wanderers due to extreme weather conditions.
United had made a written request to FFA last week to delay their 2pm game in light of the weather forecast, but FFA stuck by its policy to give games "every chance to be played".
The decision to postpone the 2pm match until 7pm - which was delayed again then eventually abandoned due to a late electrical storm - was made less than half an hour before the start, leaving both teams and fans waiting in the heat, and Klimkova frustrated.
Hayley Raso in action during the match that was postponed. Photo: Matt Blyth
"If the decision had been made during the week, that would be much, much smarter for football, so that was a little bit disappointing because I am sure the fans were frustrated to wait, wait, wait.
''Can you imagine the players? In the locker room, where it's 40 degrees and just waiting for the decision, that was just crazy.
''I have never had this experience before.
"In Europe, when we expect bad weather, it's usually snow or really freezing, we just cancel the game before," the Czech coach said.
"I think for football for the future, the decision should be made a little bit earlier, not on the day. Or if it's on the day, it should be faster."
The match is scheduled to replayed on Tuesday at McKellar Park, with everyone hopeful the day will have cooled by kick-off at 7pm from the forecast maximum of 38 degrees.
FFA defended its extreme weather policy, saying it would have to reschedule 10 to 15 fixtures a year if it delayed matches in advance based solely on temperature forecasts.
"We have a regulation in place to proceed only with contingencies if the weather reaches a certain temperature in the wet bulb globe temperature test, which is a test based on humidity, UV [light radiation], time of day and wind-chill factor," FFA spokesman Mark Jensen said.
"It's usually 90 minutes out they make the call, or 60 minutes out if they're still unsure if the heat will be a determining factor.
"It can take up to kick-off to make a decision if they feel the match could still go ahead."
Jensen said any review into the policy would come at the end of the W-League and A-League season.
Klimkova welcomed the eventual decision to abandon the game and replay it on Tuesday, even though it would mean a short turnaround before their final match against Brisbane on Saturday.
"The game was important for both sides and it wouldn't be fair to both sides just to play. We were tired, they were frustrated. I think it was the best decision," she said.
W-League Round 11: Canberra United v Western Sydney Wanderers at McKellar Park, 7pm.