Millennium Post

Sacked Aus coach Stajcic says reputation ruined

Sacked Aus coach Stajcic says reputation ruined

SYDNEY: Former Australia women's coach Alen Stajcic says his shock sacking last month had ruined his reputation and called for an independent inquiry into his termination by Football Federation Australia.

Stajcic, who struggled to hold back tears in a media conference on Monday, said he had considered legal action against the FFA and rejected the governing body's assertion he allowed "a poor culture" to develop around the Matildas team.

"I'm here today to clear my name and restore my reputation... after having spent 20 years coaching the game," the 45-year-old said after reading from a lengthy statement, pausing to take regular sips of water to compose himself.

"In 20 years of coaching, I've never had an issue around the culture of any single team that I've coached, let alone the Matildas."

The decision to terminate Stajcic's contract came after the FFA conducted an internal survey of players and staff, followed by a supplementary review by women's rights group Our Watch.

Stajcic said he had only one meeting with FFA CEO David Gallop for "about 20 minutes" on January 18 before being sacked the next day. He added that his requests to see the survey results or get more information had been ignored.

"I was terminated without cause, one. Two, there were no actions or behaviours that could be attributed to me. That was the FFA's response," he said.

"And if I could add a little bit to that, I saw a tweet

from (FFA) board director Joseph Carrozzi saying there is no smoking gun, so that's all I can say."

The FFA, in a statement issued later on Monday, said the former coach had admitted to Gallop during their meeting that the team environment was "dysfunctional" and was "always going to be this way."

"Our decision to act was driven out of care and concern for our players and people," said FFA Chairman Chris Nikou. "It was and remains our sole motivation. Any suggestions to the contrary are incorrect."



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