SFS likely to host A-League decider

February 8, 2008
By Philip Henderson

Queensland Roar kept their grand final hopes alive with a 2-0 win over Sydney FC in the minor semi-final - and in the process likely confirmed the Sydney Football Stadium as the venue for the A-League decider.

Football Federation Australia is on Sunday expected to announce the 46,000-capacity stadium will host its second grand final in three seasons.

Central Coast and Newcastle, who finished first and second on the ladder, were both deemed to have insufficient stadia to host the decider, with the FFA deciding to shift the February 24 showpiece to Sydney instead.

It boiled down to a decision between the SFS or ANZ Stadium, with the SFS the preferred venue because of concerns the 83,000-seat former Olympic stadium would struggle to reach half its capacity.

The only major stumbling block was that Sydney FC calls the SFS home, and the FFA believed it unfair that the side finishing third on the ladder should enjoy home-pitch advantage in the championship game.

Friday's result though appears to have solved that dilemma with Queensland eliminating Sydney and paving the way for the SFS - which hosted the inaugural grand final - to again be the scene of the decider.

It also means the SFS-SCG precinct at Moore Park will have to cater for some 80,000 people on February 24, with Australia playing India in a one-day international at the Sydney Cricket Ground that afternoon and night.

There had been reports the SFS would be unable to stage the final because of the fixture clash, but the Sydney Cricket Ground Trust insists it is well equipped to host two potentially sold-out major events at the same time.

"The Trust has vast experience in staging dual, high profile events at both the SFS and the Sydney Cricket Ground and will be able to successfully stage both the grand final and the one-day cricket international between Australia and India on February 24," the Trust said in a statement last week.