The Scottish Football Association has reacted with surprise to PFA Scotland's call for more research, debate and better standards on artificial pitches.

Earlier this week, PFA Scotland chief executive Fraser Wishart outlined concerns players had over the long-term impact of playing on the surfaces, citing a 2013 survey that was never published.

The PFA's Stuart Lovell later revealed that 73 per cent of the 700 players surveyed stated they would rather play on deteriorating grass pitches than artificial surfaces and called for players' opinions to be given greater weight.

Quoting newspaper articles, an SFA statement read: "While most players, given the choice, said they would prefer to play on natural grass, it is inaccurate and misleading to say that 'the vast majority (of players) wanted to avoid Astroturf'. In actual fact, 42.5 per cent of respondents supported the use of synthetic surfaces in competitive matches.

"In addition, 52 per cent of respondents supported the use of synthetic surfaces for training on a regular basis."

The SFA stated that the 11 artificial pitches which are in use by 12 SPFL clubs need to meet FIFA's highest standards each year.

"The SPFL have also implemented an innovative 'spot-testing' protocol to ensure these standards are maintained throughout the season - the only league in the world to do so," the statement added.

The SFA also cited two pieces of research which found no significant difference in injuries between players using natural and artificial grass, although Wishart had called for research on the long-term impact.

The statement finished: "Given PFA Scotland are members of the Scottish FA congress we believe that to be a more productive forum to discuss matters of such importance in future."