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By ESPN Staff
Jan 24, 2008

A-League final to be played in Sydney

Football Federation Australia has confirmed the 2008 A-League grand final will be held in Sydney, at either ANZ Stadium or the Sydney Football Stadium.

Under A-League rules, the winner of the major semi-final earns the right of home advantage for the championship game.

But this season that will not be the case with minor premiers Central Coast or the second-placed Jets now set to "host" the grand final in Sydney on Sunday, February 24.

The Mariners and the Jets only have stadium capacities of 20,000 and 26,000 respectively and FFA chief executive Ben Buckley said the priority was to ensure fans were not denied the chance to attend the decider because the ground was too small.

"We had sell-out crowds in Sydney and Melbourne at the grand finals in the first two years of the Hyundai A-League and I do not want the situation where people are locked-out of the game," said Buckley.

"We anticipate that each of these clubs will provide 20,000 supporters for the grand final.

"If we were to keep the grand final at either of their home grounds, it would leave little or no capacity for supporters of the opposing team, or the many thousands of Hyundai A-League fans who just want to be part of the biggest game of the year."

Buckley also said it is not unusual for sport to have neutral venues for marquee games.

The FA Cup, the NFL Superbowl, the NRL grand final and the AFL grand final are notable examples.

"We believe the Hyundai A-League grand final, as the most important game of the year in the competition, should be given the status it deserves and that's what we're doing," he said.