Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today labelled the pitch in the Wellington Phoenix versus Melbourne Victory match as unacceptable for professional football.

Having consulted with the Victory and Phoenix players, PFA Player Relations Manager Simon Colosimo said a review of the A-League playing surface minimum standards should be conducted.

“The playing surface posed huge risks to the health and safety of players,” said Colosimo. “We are talking about people’s livelihoods and it’s simply unacceptable to put players at risk by forcing them to play on a substandard surface.

“Despite being in such a poor state, the pitch was approved after two inspections, raising serious questions about the standards that are used to review playing surfaces in the A-League.

“The PFA will raise the matter with Football Federation Australia (FFA) and will seek an explanation as to why the pitch was deemed safe and appropriate for professional football.

“The quality of playing surface has a significant impact on the quality of play. Poor surfaces make it impossible for players to be at their best and shortchanges who are fans eager to see football of the highest possible standard.”