Kevin Muscat blasts disgraceful SCG pitch after Melbourne Victory's Terry Antonis suffers knee injury
The players' union has called for an independent investigation of the SCG playing surface, which has been slammed as dangerous after Melbourne Victory midfielder Terry Antonis suffered an apparent serious knee injury.
Victory coach Kevin Muscat attacked A-League decision makers for giving the surface the green light for Saturday night's 2-1 loss to Sydney FC after Antonis collapsed on the turf untouched.
Replays suggested his leg appeared to give way where turf joined the edge of the cricket square.
PFA chief executive John Didulica weighed in on Sunday, demanding clarity from FFA as to how the match was allowed to proceed "given the deplorable state of the SCG's pitch, and the clear danger it posed to player safety."
"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," Didulica said.
The PFA will convene a meeting with its A-League delegates this week and recommend two resolutions.
"Firstly, that FFA immediately commission an independent investigation into the process undertaken to approve last night's match as being fit for play," Didulica said.
While the laws of the game dictate that is fundamentally a decision for the referee, Didulica said the complexity of match day operations made it inconceivable that a referee would, or should, make such a decision on his own.
"Secondly, endorse a motion that players will no longer play on surfaces unacceptably compromised by a cricket wicket," Didulica said.
"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."
Muscat launched a scathing tirade on the game's administrators for allowing the match to go ahead.
"If nothing gets said, we're just accepting it as a code," he said. "The result is one thing tonight. But to ask players to come and work under those conditions is unacceptable.
"It might be a serious injury as a result from it. And for players to go out onto that, whatever it's called, is a disgrace."
It is the second time in a month the SCG has come under fire, having also been forced into emergency work before a round-one NRL fixture in early March.
It came just days after a NSW Waratahs rugby union game tore up the ground, resulting in 3000 square metres of turf being re-laid.
The A-League furore is the latest in a string of controversies across Sydney's sporting codes as Allianz Stadium undergoes a reconstruction.
It has forced regular SCG tenants the Sydney Swans to share the venue with Sydney FC, Sydney Roosters and the Waratahs in a jam-packed schedule.
Muscat said the track wasn't even conducive to a ball rolling and is concerned the game would simply sweep the issue under a rug.
"It was dangerous, first and foremost," he said. "[Whoever] went out and had a look at it, they should be here answering questions about how that was passed fit to play football."