Professional Footballers Australia CEO John Didulica says an independent investigation into how the Sydney Cricket Ground surface was approved needs to take place.

Mr Didulica told FNR that pressuring a referee to decide whether a pitch is playable hours before a match is “unacceptable” and hopes this is a “watershed moment” for the game.

“The ground may have been satisfactory for [the SCG] but not for anyone else,” he said.

“I think the first thing that must happen is an independent investigation into how that pitch was approved to be played on.

“Putting that level of responsibility on the shoulders of referees in modern football is entirely unworkable.

“This needs to be done days and weeks in advance.

“There needs to be very clear assurances given from the stadium that they will provide a playing surface of a suitable level.”

 

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Image: Fox Sports

 

The PFA will meet with A-League delegates to request players no longer play on surfaces compromised by a cricket wicket.

Football Federation Australia have since re-located Sydney FC’s home match against Perth Glory – originally scheduled for the SCG – to Jubilee Oval.

“This has been a tipping point – people have seen what’s happened to Terry [Antonis] and seen the outcome of substandard pitch and hopefully this becomes a watershed moment for the game,” Mr Didulica said.

“Moving the game to Jubilee Oval is a step in the right direction I think anyone who saw the game on Saturday understood that it’s not acceptable for the players or fans to have their football compromised the way it was.”

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Athos Sirianos
athos@footballnationradio.com.au