The Sydney Cricket Ground’s poor quality field has resulted in a possible ACL tear for Melbourne Victory’s Terry Antonis after their Big Blue loss to Sydney FC.

Mid-way through the second half Antonis fell without contact after tripping on a divot in the ground on the edge of the cricket pitch. He received treatment and had to be substituted off the field for a suspected knee injury.

Antonis’ injury has renewed conversations about pitch quality throughout the league, with Melbourne Victory’s head coach Kevin Muscat at the forefront of conversation.

“I’ve never seen a surface where there’s three different types of grass. In the middle it was ridiculously hard, and unsafe as far as I’m concerned.

“To ask players to come to work, and work under those conditions is unacceptable. There might be a serious injury as a result of it. To expect players to go out onto that…it’s a disgrace.

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Muscat said that those responsible for clearing the pitch should be answering questions as to how they believe the SCG was passed fit to play football.

“If we accept it ourselves as a code, it’s a part of the reason everybody else treats us with contempt. As a code, it’s a real indication of where we’re at.

“That surface was not conducive to a ball rolling on it. It was dangerous, but as a code we’ll just sweep it under the table.”

Sydney FC’s head coach Steven Corica also acknowledged the state of the pitch. Sydney FC were able to train on the cricket ground the day before the match, but Melbourne Victory didn’t have that luxury.

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The match-up between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC was a game that should’ve been focused on the fierce rivalry of the Big Blue and which club deserved three points, especially coming into the last few competition rounds before finals. Instead, it was focused on pitch quality and a possible ACL injury that could have been avoided.

Sydney FC are set to return to the SCG on the 18th April for their last home game against table leaders Perth Glory; but after Antonis’ injury, there have been calls for the match to be moved to another venue.

Feature Image Credit: Ngau Kai Yan

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Bachelor of journalism student from the University of Sydney covering Sydney FC. Passionate about writing and football.