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Questions over ANZ Stadium’s suitability as an AFL venue

Questions over ANZ Stadium’s suitability as an AFL venue
July 23, 2015

The AFL Players' Association has questioned whether ANZ Stadium should host AFL games in the future after Hawthorn star Jarryd Roughead was injured by exposed bolts inside the fence line last weekend.

Roughead slid on to four bolts protruding from concrete behind the goals during the third quarter of the game as Hawthorn took on the Sydney Swans on Saturday 19th July. His jumper was ripped and red welts could be seen on the exposed skin.

According to reports at AFL.com.au, ANZ Stadium’s management will remove the bolts while the AFL will step up safety checks at match-day venues.

The incident sparked yet more controversy about ANZ Stadium, with the state of its playing surface having questioned in the past.

Following the incident, AFL Players' Association (AFLPA) General Manager of Player Relations  Ian Prendergast told AFL.com “it is completely unacceptable from a health and safety perspective to have players exposed to a dangerous situation like that.”

After an investigation into the Roughead matter, a report from stadium officials said the bolts are used to secure an emergency fire hose reel when the ground is used for other events, but were exposed inside the fence line during AFL matches.

The report stated the bolts are "partially obscured during the pre-match by the netting used behind the goals during the warm-up period", and added that “they had not been detected as a safety issue before the weekend’s game for any AFL match."

According to AFL.com.au, a white plastic chair was at times placed over the bolts during the last match at the venue between the Swans and Geelong in round seven.

The AFL said the matter was "not acceptable" for the Hawks and Swans players, committing to "more rigorous" inspections of venue surrounds adjoining the playing surface.

AFLPA Chief Executive Paul Marsh said there had been a history of issues at ANZ Stadium around player safety and it was "disgraceful" that Roughead had been put in that situation.

Marsh told SEN “the game is tough enough as it is and the players put themselves at enough risk just playing the game.

"The last resort is walking away from the game, but you have to look at these things.

"At this stadium there's been a history of issues here and we have concerns about the playing surface. This type of issue doesn't help."

Image shows ANZ Stadium in AFL mode.

Click here to view the original article from Peter Ryan at AFL media.

13th July 2015 - PRENDERGAST TO TAKE LEAD ROLE AT AUSTRALIAN ATHLETES’ ALLIANCE

25th November 2014 - SYDNEY SWANS TO END ANZ STADIUM GAMES AFTER 2016 AFL SEASON

28th June 2011 - ANZ STADIUM: PEGS ON PLAYING SURFACE ‘UNACCEPTABLE’

 


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