Ghana's No. 1

'They had sprinklers on while rain was pouring'

Published on: 21 March 2023

Cardiff manager Sabri Lamouchi (left) and Rotherham boss Matt Taylor inspect the pitch with referee Oliver Langford

The English Football League [EFL] are to review the circumstances that led to abandonment of the Championship game between Rotherham and Cardiff City.

With Cardiff leading 1-0 through Jaden Philogene, the match was abandoned in the 47th minute because of an unplayable pitch following heavy rain at New York Stadium.

Referee Oliver Langford suspended play to allow the surface the opportunity to drain, but following a 45 minute delay and further inspection the game was eventually postponed.

Rotherham released a statement shortly after the postponement, saying the decision to call the game off will be reviewed by the EFL, who have yet to make an official comment.

It is understood Cardiff were unhappy with the decision to abandon the match, while Rotherham boss Matt Taylor said that while he felt the right decision had been made had sympathy for travelling supporters.

Here are the thoughts of some of those that witnessed events at New York Stadium last Saturday.

Supporters' views

"We were 1-0 up and we outclassed them - it was three points all day long. Had they been 1-0 up that game would have gone on.

"They had the sprinklers on at half-time while the rain was pouring down. There was no effort made by Rotherham to clear that pitch. As far as we we're concerned we were cheated.

"Everybody that was up there, including myself, are going to get on to Rotherham Football Club and we want our money back. £24 for a ticket, £30 to travel up and eight hours out of our day."

Cardiff fan Kevin speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Call Rob

"The rain is one thing but 20 minutes to get the ground staff on and the sheer obviousness that they had no interest in keeping it on is another. Abysmal from Rotherham."

Cardiff fan Chris via Text

"For a Championship standard pitch and Stadium it was just shocking. For 20-30 minutes you had two people with squeegees pushing the water off the pitch. You had two people where there should have been five to seven people with squeegees pushing the water off and they were just laughing at the Cardiff fans.

"At the end of the days it is depressing. We travelled four, five hours to come up to South Yorkshire and then to be treated in that way."

Cardiff fan Gareth speaking on BBC Radio Wales' Call Rob

Rotherham groundstaff clear water off the New York Stadium pitchCommentator's view - Dylan Griffiths

"I came back to my seat after the half time interval and I've never seen so much rain and volume fall in such a short period of time, and we mentioned in commentary that the game could be in serious doubt.

"However It was a shock to see that the sprinklers were on during the interval. The water wasn't draining and the corner flag area to the right of our commentary position was particularly bad.

"There was much confusion around the ground, but I can understand Cardiff's frustration as it took nearly 20 minutes for Rotherham's ground staff to appear to try and clear the water, and even then, only a small number of staff were on the pitch.

"It is open for debate if the game could have continued had the response been sooner as the ball wasn't bouncing during the pitch inspection at 16:45, but once the announcement came that the game was abandoned, the celebrations of the Rotherham fans around us just added to Cardiff's pain."

Dylan Griffiths was at the game as a commentator for BBC Radio Cymru.

Pundit's view - Nathan Blake

"There wasn't much that could've been done in fairness, but the sprinklers came on, There's no way they knew the rain was going to come down like it did.

"Obviously it looks bad during the rain with the sprinklers on and one of the ground staff - pushing water off and pulling it back on with his "

"But it was a real deluge - the rest of the pitch was under water so it would've been difficult to play the game, the ball wasn't going to roll or anything like that.

"I think the frustration for the Cardiff fans was probably the fact that for 15 to 20 minutes no one came out and tried to do anything at all about the pitch and then when they did one guy came out and then the second then the third.

"Then one guy with a fork trying to relieve some of the flooding but it was never going to happen, it was just one of those things - mother nature. It couldn't be helped.

"Rotherham were far happier to have the game abandoned than Cardiff - Cardiff were trying to get it on and Rotherham were happy for it to be abandoned.

"Rotherham were happy because they had three or four of their main players out also, so everything was good for them to have the game abandoned but not so good for Cardiff in fairness.

"I would've thought that there would definitely be a replay for sure and Cardiff will be disappointed but they can still go there and win.

"But like I said, it was one of those situations where there was a long way to go for an abandoned game and things happen from time to time."

Former Cardiff City striker Nathan Blake was speaking on Radio Wales Breakfast.


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