A-League match moved from SCG amid pitch concerns

The upcoming Australian A-League football match between Sydney FC and Perth Glory has been moved to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium after issues with the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) pitch on Saturday.

Last year, it was confirmed that Sydney FC would play four home games this season at the SCG (pictured) while Allianz Stadium, its former home, undergoes redevelopment.

The second of these fixtures took place on Saturday night when Sydney FC defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1. The game was marred by an injury to Victory midfielder Terry Antonis on a poor section of the SCG turf.

Following the game, Victory coach Kevin Muscat said the pitch was “dangerous” and the decision has now been taken to move Sydney FC’s game against Perth Glory on April 18 to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. The stadium has a capacity of over 20,000 and is used to host rugby league games as well as football matches.

Greg O’Rourke, head of leagues for Football Federation Australia (FFA), said today (Monday) that it is in the best interests of all parties to move the game against Perth Glory away from the SCG. Sydney FC is currently second in the table, with Perth Glory six points clear at the top with three games remaining.

“We acknowledge that the playing surface was, and would be, playable and safe for Hyundai A-League football as verified by two independent expert reports in days prior to the match as per our normal process,” said O’Rourke.

“The SCG’s wicket block, though, compromises the uniformity of the field for football in particular. Following discussions with all stakeholders, we have taken the proactive decision to move the remaining Sydney FC match at the SCG to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

“We appreciate all the work that the SCG trust has undertaken to accommodate an unprecedented amount of activity on the SCG in recent months and we will continue to work with them in regards to venue usage in the future.”

O’Rourke had previously said the SCG’s playing conditions were “unacceptable”.

SCG chief executive Kerrie Mather added: “We understand the FFA and Sydney FC’s decision to move the fixture. We have secured access for our members to attend the match and look forward to continuing our close relationship with the FFA and Sydney FC.”

Property management company Netstrata took on naming rights to the Jubilee Stadium earlier this year. Sydney FC has played games at the stadium in the past.

The SCG will continue to be used for other sporting events.

Image: Marc Dalmulder