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AFL report says Etihad Stadium artificial turf not to blame for injury

AFL report says Etihad Stadium artificial turf not to blame for injury
April 21, 2015

Etihad Stadium’s management has welcomed at AFL report that absolves the venue of any blame for the season-ending knee injury suffered by Brisbane Lions' star Michael Close on 12th April.

Close damaged his anterior cruciate ligament when he slid towards an area of artificial turf near the interchange gates during the game against North Melbourne.

In a statement, Etihad Stadium Chief Executive Paul Sargeant said a commissioned report, apparently accepted by the AFL and circulated to involved parties, had stated that there is “no difference within the playing characteristics of either surface within the interchange areas.”

Sergeant said while Etihad Stadium management and the venue’s arena management team had great empathy for the player, the report "overwhelmingly vindicated the presentation and safety of the venue’s playing surface".

Commenting on new synthetic turf installed at the venue prior to the start of the 2015 AFL season, Sergeant added “the product selected is AFL licensed and the completed installation also received sign off from the AFL.”

On three different criteria – turf coverage, surface levels and surface hardness the report recorded that Etihad Stadium’s surface had performed well.

Sergeant said the venue’s management appreciated that accidents and injuries occur on a sports field but rejected in this case that in some way its turf was to blame.

He said while he understood the game aroused passions, it was always important for affected parties to give consideration to private discussions in order to establish all the facts. reported that Brisbane Lions' Football Manager Dean Warren said the club would not make any decisions in response to the AFL report until after it had received the findings from a separate investigation by the AFL Players' Association.



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