‘Disrespectful’: Roos great’s fury over torn-up pitch
SOCCEROOS great John Kosmina says the decision to play an AFLX tournament at Coopers Stadium was "disrespectful" to Adelaide United.
The pitch had already looked patchy following last month's Foo Fighters concert, but its condition wasn't helped by Thursday night's AFLX, with the Reds having to play at the venue just two days later.
Kosmina said the AFL should have to play the "sugar hit" tournament at one of its venues, instead of Hindmarsh.
"For me, I grew up in Adelaide, I grew up at Hindmarsh Stadium - for me, that's the holy grail of football in South Australia," he said on Sunday Shootout.
"If AFL want to come up with some sort of sugar hit for their fans and hybridise or bastardise their sport just to try and compete with football - because that's what they're trying to do because they realise football is so strong - if they want to do that, fine.
"But go and play on a footy oval."
Kosmina said Adelaide Venue Management had disrespected Adelaide United in allowing the AFL to use Hindmarsh two days before their game - something he believed wouldn't happen if the shoe was on the other foot.
"It's disrespectful for me, from my perspective, that the AVM, the Adelaide Venue Management authority ... actually disrespected their major tenants, Adelaide United, and put that on," he said.
"Because the A-League goes all around the country, it goes all through Asia, gets viewed in Europe … so what does that say about Australian football?
"It wouldn't happen if the shoe was on the other foot.
"If Adelaide United wanted to play on Adelaide Oval and there was a cricket match in a couple of days - no chance, or if there was an Aussie Rules game, no chance."
Ahead of the match, Adelaide coach Marco Kurz had queried the decision to play AFLX so close to an Adelaide home game.
"Please don't make a big tournament from the AFL for three, four hours (days before we play)," Kurz told reporters on Friday.
"It's not good. We can find a better decision.
"Maybe we play two games away in between but it (scheduling) is not in our hands." Kurz tuned in to the AFLX experiment on television - he watched for "two seconds" before switching off in lament at the damage to the pitch.
"Not angry," he said.
"But it's not good to watch the (AFLX) tournament knowing that you play two days later on the same field - it's better to switch off and have a good dinner with your girlfriend."
Kosmina said he was particularly disappointed, given the football stadium's availability had been key to the South Australian government securing access to the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
"The sad thing is that Hindmarsh as it used to be called, used to be in the hands - it was a long-term lease that would still be running now - in the hands of football," he said.
"And the government took it back because it's the only way South Australia could have got the Olympic Games in 2000, into South Australia.
"Otherwise it was going to go to Perth, or Newcastle or somewhere else. So they needed something and football saved them - football got them that and they had to invest and build Hindmarsh but they took back the lease off the federation."
- With AAP