Melbourne Victory demand answers on SCG pitch as Sydney FC drop the venue

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The club have released a statement as the Sky Blues look to take immediate action

Melbourne Victory have already contacted Football Federation Australia over the concerns regarding pitch quality in the A-League after Terry Antonis suffered a serious knee injury during Saturday night's match at the SCG.

The star playmaker slipped on a patch of turf that covered up the cricket pitch while under no pressure during Victory's 2-1 loss to Sydney FC - with their coach Kevin Muscat slamming the playing field post-match.

Victory released a statement on Sunday supporting Muscat's rebuke, calling the pitch standard unacceptable while also expressing support for Antonis.

"Terry’s diagnosis and wellbeing is our immediate priority as a club, he will undertake scans later today and we will advise next steps from there. We are obviously hoping for the best possible outcome,” Jacobs said.

"After speaking with Kevin and some players post-match, the general consensus was our group felt the SCG pitch was not up to standard due to the inconsistency in surface.

"As a code, we need to ensure our players are presented with safe working conditions.

"I’ve spoken to the FFA to seek clarification on the process undertaken last night and furthermore to review what pitch approvals look like moving forward, to attain reform. We also need to address how club’s reserve their rights on behalf of its players in the future."

The Sky Blues are set to take immediate action on the issue with April 18's home clash against Perth Glory to be moved from SCG to Kogarah - with the club's possible home final to be a the latter.

Sydney FC is unlikely to use the SCG next season because cricket scheduling means the venue is unavailable until April.

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Professional Footballers Australia chief executive John Didulica called on the FFA to launch an independent investigation into why Saturday night's match went ahead with such a dangerous pitch.

"Firstly, the thoughts of every A-League player are now with Terry Antonis in the hope that his worst fears are not realised," Didulica said.
 
"The players confirmed with us last night that they were not consulted at any stage on whether or not the match should proceed, notwithstanding the clear issues that the pitch presented to their livelihoods.
 
"Accordingly, the PFA will convene a meeting with its A-League delegates this week and recommend two clear resolutions for adoption.
 
"Firstly, that FFA immediately commission an independent investigation into the process undertaken to approve last night’s match as being fit for play.
 
"The Laws of the Game dictate this is fundamentally a decision for the referee. However, the increasing complexity of match day operations makes it inconceivable that a referee would, or should, make such a decision in isolation of stakeholders.

"Secondly, endorse a motion that players will no longer play on surfaces unacceptably compromised by a cricket wicket.
 
"As demonstrated last night, cricket wickets present an unreasonable danger to the health and safety of footballers and it remains the view of the PFA that players are under no obligation to participate in matches when such risks are present. This includes the SCG."

 

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