Aussie rules football league the AFL has launched an investigation into incidents at Optus Stadium, but has maintained that the new Perth venue meets all of its health and safety guidelines.
A game yesterday (Sunday) saw Geelong players Mark Blicavs and Zach Tuohy suffer what were described as significant cuts to their hands after colliding with the LED fence signage at Optus Stadium, which opened in January.
Both players were forced to leave the game, only to later return to action. The League is currently assessing how the injuries occurred but has maintained that the signage technology in use at Optus Stadium is the same as that utilised at other major AFL venues such as the MCG, Etihad Stadium and Geelong’s GMHBA Stadium.
AFL football operations manager Steve Hocking told the League’s official website: “I will acknowledge the fact that that stadium is fit and has certainly been risk-assessed. It’s in alignment to all the stadiums around the country. It is unfortunate and we’ll work with the club over the coming days to support the players.”
Hocking added: “The run-off (between the boundary line and fence) is within the legal limits. They certainly hit it with some force. I managed to watch that game late yesterday and it’s disappointing and for those instances to happen in the same quarter was just extraordinary as well. There’s definitely an element of luck there.”
In response to the incidents, an Optus Stadium spokesperson said: “Optus Stadium will liaise closely with the AFL to review the incidents from yesterday’s match. Whilst Optus Stadium meets all the required AFL standards, the primary priority is the health and welfare of the players.”