Football Coaches Australia statement regarding the Hyundai A-League match between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory FC at the Sydney Football Ground on Saturday 6 April 2019:

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) supports the call by Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) for Football Federation Australia (FFA) to launch an independent investigation into the state of the playing surface at last night’s match between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

FCA joins the PFA in calling on the FFA to explain as to how the match was allowed to proceed.

The use of stadia with cricket pitches in the A-League and W-League poses an unacceptable risk to the safety of players. Such stadia are not permitted even at NPL level in the majority of Member Federations.

Kevin Muscat, FCA member and Head Coach of Melbourne Victory:
“The only thing that will really make people take action is coaches and players refusing to play. I feel I have let the players down, Terry Antonis in particular, by not taking that course of action.”

Steve Corica, FCA member and Head Coach of Sydney FC:
The Sydney Football Ground surface was not great. It was a lot harder on the cricket pitch than the rest of the field and it was not up to the standard required from a professional footballers’ point of view.

“Given the circumstances, the way in which we coped with the surface was excellent. It was an outstanding performance from our boys.”

Phil Moss, FCA President:
“Our code demands and deserves a top quality playing surface from a duty of care perspective, first and foremost.”

“But if we are to take the game to new levels of performance and entertainment for the fans, players and coaches must be afforded the right tools of the trade. Last night’s surface at the SCG was a long way from delivering on that. Our players, coaches and fans deserve nothing less.”

The thoughts of all FCA members are with Terry Antonis at this time and we wish him all the best in his diagnosis.


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