Sydney bow to FFA pressure and withdraw Antonis

Sydney FC have buckled to Football Federation Australia pressure and pulled Terry Antonis from the squad to face Melbourne Victory on the weekend.

Sky Blues CEO Tony Pignata released a statement on Friday saying the club was left with no choice after FFA outlined the consequences for fielding the young star.

"After discussions with our Chairman Scott Barlow, we both feel that Football Federation Australia has left us with no option but to withdraw midfielder Terry Antonis from our squad for this Saturday night’s game against Melbourne Victory," Pignata's statement read.

“Football Federation Australia have made it very clear to us that if we play Terry Antonis tomorrow night they will apply an automatic 3-0 loss to us regardless of the actual result of the game.

“The club has fought hard to secure Terry’s inclusion in the game and is extremely disappointed for Terry and our supporters that he has been forced out.

“We have followed all the relevant medical and concussion guidelines with Terry and he has been given the clearance to play by medical staff.

“I will be following this up with Football Federation Australia and the other Hyundai A-League club CEO’s to discuss this matter further.”

Antonis was supposed to be in Osaka with the Socceroos this week but was forced to pull out after being involved in a minor car accident on the way to the airport.

After initial concussion fears, Sky Blues coach Graham Arnold argued Antonis was fit and should be allowed to line up against Victory.

But FFA stood by its regulation that states “players selected for international duty who are subsequently withdrawn due to injury or illness cannot play for their club during the period for which the player should have been released."

Arnold said it was the Socceroos staff who opted to withdraw the player from the squad to face Japan and therefore the club should be allowed to select him for the weekend clash.