Statement regarding SCG playing surface

Following on from head coach Kevin Muscat’s comments post-match, Melbourne Victory has confirmed it has already asked questions of Football Federation of Australia (FFA) regarding the unacceptable state of the SCG pitch for last night’s game against Sydney FC.

Victory midfielder Terry Antonis went down in the 76th minute of the match with a knee injury after slipping on the uneven turf - in what was an isolated incident away from the ball and other players - and subsequently was forced to leave the pitch. 

Antonis has not travelled to China today for Victory’s upcoming AFC Champions League match against Guangzhou Evergrande, instead returning to Melbourne to have scans today.

Melbourne Victory CEO Trent Jacobs has been in contact with the PFA, FFA and Sydney FC on the matter, stressing player safety is paramount.

“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.”

Jacobs also clarified the club is not questioning the game’s result in any capacity.

“As Kevin said last night, it was a thrilling game of football with strong performances from each club,” said Jacobs.

“We had our chances, but we won’t make excuses. Sydney got the three points and we congratulate them on the hard-fought win.”

The club is supportive of the PFA’s position to call on the FFA to launch an investigation into the state of the SCG pitch and how it was deemed fit for play.

The club will provide appropriate updates on Antonis’ injury once details are confirmed.