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FFA to review nasty Zullo table collision

AAP logoAAP 6/11/2016 Emma Kemp

A-League boss Greg O'Rourke says there may be grounds to remove the fourth official's pitchside table following Michael Zullo's sickening head collision at Allianz Stadium.

The Sydney FC defender was lucky to escape unscathed after his head slammed heavily into the table on his way down from an aerial challenge during Saturday night's 2-1 win over Melbourne Victory.

The club's medical staff sprung into action to treat Zullo, who lay still on the ground for several minutes soon after halftime.

Replays showed he'd been lucky to make contact with the table's smooth upper surface rather than the corner, which could have resulted in a serious head injury.

The 28-year-old left-back was eventually given the all clear to continue, and soon delivered a spectacular throw-in to set up David Carney's controversial handball equaliser.

O'Rourke said the accident disturbed him so much he rushed to the tunnel from the other other side of the stadium to check in with Sydney's football manager Terry McFlynn.

O'Rourke said Football Federation Australia (FFA) would conduct a risk assessment of all A-League pitchside equipment to prevent any further incidents.

"Who knows what it could have been. Head injuries are serious," O'Rourke told AAP.

"We'll need now to do a risk assessment of all our equipment on the side of the field of play as a result of that.

"The last thing you want to see is that happen again, let alone potentially worse."

Since the start of the league, FFA regulations have stipulated that the fourth official's table must be at least three metres from the field of play.

According to an FFA spokesperson, it is often four or five metres back depending on the venue.

After the match, Sydney chief executive Tony Pignata made immediate enquiries about removing the table from future games.

O'Rourke also questioned whether it needed to be there at all.

"We now need to work out whether you can eliminate the table altogether," he said.

"Or at least amend it in such a way that if someone was to touch it ... it could be like what they've done with the soft pads around TV cameras on the edge of the field.

"If it's just a comfortable place to rest things including the interchange board, maybe we find another place for it."

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