Infotainment Factory: FFA breaks silence on 'unacceptable' SCG pitch

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Sunday, 7 April 2019

FFA breaks silence on 'unacceptable' SCG pitch


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Football Federation Australia will meet tomorrow with Sydney FC and the Sydney Cricket Ground Management regarding concerns over the playing surface after last night’s game between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.

The conditions of the pitch were slammed by the nation's football fraternity after Victory star Terry Antonis suffered an ACL tear, with the head of the A-League Greg O'Rourke calling the conditions "unacceptable".

"Last night’s conditions were unacceptable," O'Rourke said in a statement.

"If we are not confident that the ground will improve significantly then alternate venues would be sought in the future for Sydney FC home matches.

Terry Antonis

"Whilst FFA understands the current demands on the surface, which now sees five codes using the ground, it appears that the needs of our code around surface condition may not be able to be met, despite the best intentions of all parties.

“The processes we have in place approved the surface last night as playable and safe. These processes include pitch inspections in the days leading up to the game and on game day by Sydney FC, SCG, the match commissioner and the referees.

“It goes without saying, we wish Terry Antonis a quick return to playing."

Following the injury to Antonis, the fact that the players were forced to play an A-League match on a sub-standard pitch has caused concern over whether the quality of the surface is a serious concern for the FFA.

Sydney FC

However, O'Rourke ensured that the safety of all the players remains the FFA's prerogative.

"We will sit down tomorrow and review the decision leading up to last night’s game," he said.

"If we are not comfortable with the process undertaken, we will have no hesitation in finding a better way for next season.

"We are committed to working towards playing on fewer venues which host multiple codes.

"Expansion teams Western United and South West MacArthur will both have minimal use from other codes in their stadiums in the long term, which is what we all need to work towards."

Football Federation Australia will meet tomorrow with Sydney FC and the Sydney Cricket Ground Management regarding concerns over the playing surface after last night’s game between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory.

The conditions of the pitch were slammed by the nation's football fraternity after Victory star Terry Antonis suffered an ACL tear, with the head of the A-League Greg O'Rourke calling the conditions "unacceptable".

"Last night’s conditions were unacceptable," O'Rourke said in a statement.

"If we are not confident that the ground will improve significantly then alternate venues would be sought in the future for Sydney FC home matches.

Terry Antonis

"Whilst FFA understands the current demands on the surface, which now sees five codes using the ground, it appears that the needs of our code around surface condition may not be able to be met, despite the best intentions of all parties.

“The processes we have in place approved the surface last night as playable and safe. These processes include pitch inspections in the days leading up to the game and on game day by Sydney FC, SCG, the match commissioner and the referees.

“It goes without saying, we wish Terry Antonis a quick return to playing."

Following the injury to Antonis, the fact that the players were forced to play an A-League match on a sub-standard pitch has caused concern over whether the quality of the surface is a serious concern for the FFA.

Sydney FC

However, O'Rourke ensured that the safety of all the players remains the FFA's prerogative.

"We will sit down tomorrow and review the decision leading up to last night’s game," he said.

"If we are not comfortable with the process undertaken, we will have no hesitation in finding a better way for next season.

"We are committed to working towards playing on fewer venues which host multiple codes.

"Expansion teams Western United and South West MacArthur will both have minimal use from other codes in their stadiums in the long term, which is what we all need to work towards."

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