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A-League final to be played on rugby-affected Sydney ground

A-League Semi Final - Sydney v Perth

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 29: Sydney FC celebrate victory during the A-League Semi Final match between Sydney FC and the Perth Glory at Allianz Stadium on April 29, 2017 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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SYDNEY (AP) The A-League final on Sunday is likely to be played on a pitch churned by a Super Rugby match after failed negotiations to move the rugby to an alternative venue.

Football Federation Australia confirmed in a statement on Tuesday that the A-League final between Sydney FC and the Melbourne Victory would be at Allianz Stadium, 24 hours after the New South Wales Waratahs and Auckland-based Blues meet there in Super Rugby.

FFA chief executive David Gallop said it and the New South Wales state government asked the Waratahs to move the rugby match to the North Sydney Oval but that proved unfeasible.

“These things are always more complicated than perhaps first envisaged,” Gallop said. “The fact is our grand final deserves a world-class surface and the traffic on Allianz Stadium makes this a challenge.”

Gallop said the standard of the pitch for last weekend’s semifinal between Sydney FC and Perth “had a noticeably detrimental effect on the play.”

The FFA “implored” stadium authorities to minimize the effect of the rugby match on the ground to ensure the final “is played on a surface that befits the occasion and the stature of the grand final as one of Australia’s showpiece sporting events.”