Professional Footballer's Australia and multiple ex-Socceroos have criticised the decision to hold last night's Big Blue at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Antonis suffered a nasty muscle injury in his knee mid-way through the second half, when he misstepped on a pitch widely criticised for it's noticeable level differences, including a clearly showing cricket wicket.
PFA said the SCG pitch - which Sydney FC is contracted to hold at least six games at (pending availability) throughout the Allianz Stadium rebuild process - should have never been deemed playable.
Reportedly, Sydney FC have already intentionally scheduled three matches this season when the SCG wasn't available to avoid playing there.
“Firstly, the thoughts of every A-League player are now with Terry Antonis in the hope that his worst fears are not realised,” PFA chief executive, John Didulica said.
“The players confirmed with us last night that they were not consulted at any stage on whether or not the match should proceed, notwithstanding the clear issues that the pitch presented to their livelihoods.
“Accordingly, the PFA will convene a meeting with its A-League delegates this week and recommend two clear resolutions for adoption.
“Firstly, that FFA immediately commission an independent investigation into the process undertaken to approve last night’s match as being fit for play.
“The Laws of the Game dictate this is fundamentally a decision for the referee. However, the increasing complexity of match day operations makes it inconceivable that a referee would, or should, make such a decision in isolation of stakeholders.”
“Secondly, endorse a motion that players will no longer play on surfaces unacceptably compromised by a cricket wicket."
Ex-Socceroos Craig Moore and Scott McDonald also came out swinging at the A-League and Sydney's contract agreement, calling it a "shambles".
There is another pic.twitter.com/IGBmgHRywh— Craig Moore (@CraigMoore_18) April 7, 2019
In addition to citing the unnecessary pressure on the referee to judge a pitch for themselves, Didiluca also said that footballers shouldn't face an obligation to play on unsafe grounds.
“As demonstrated last night, cricket wickets present an unreasonable danger to the health and safety of footballers and it remains the view of the PFA that players are under no obligation to participate in matches when such risks are present. This includes the SCG," he said.
“On four occasions this season the PFA has been on the record calling for greater focus on the conditions of the pitches on which A-League and W-League players are being required to play.
“We even took the unprecedented step of sharing our annual pitch ratings survey a fortnight ago, whilst the season was still in progress, to shift focus to the dangerous drop in pitch standards across the country.”
In a statement, Melbourne Victory also highlighted the need for change, while admitting they didn't know the extent of Antonis' injury yet.
“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,” Victory CEO, Trent Jacobs said.
“After speaking with Kevin (Muscat) 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.”