Australia coach speaks out to clear name after sacking


Alen Stajcic, the Australia Women’s coach, who was sacked last month is challenging his surprise dismissal.

With five months remaining before the World Cup that Stajcic had been preparing for over the last four years, he was fired by Football Federation Australia. This was apparently due to claims of an “unsatisfactory” team environment.

For the first time since he was sacked, Stajcic has publicly stated that he is still “in the dark” as to the reasons why he is no longer coaching the Matildas.

Stajcic’s dismissal was based on player and staff interviews as well as two confidential team surveys which found “welfare” and “workplace culture” issues.

The 45-year-old has now strenuously denied involvement in “any impropriety or misconduct relating to the players” and said he was also considering legal action.

He has not been given access to the survey’s results and could not respond to accusations, despite requests.

He told reporters in Sydney:

“I’m here today to clear my name and restore my reputation,”

“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… I consider the actions of the FFA to be without foundation and unjustifiable.”

Football Federation Australia has not yet responded to the latest comments.

Strajcic also thanked several squad members for the public support he has received from them.

Hesterine de Reus was dismissed after a player revolt in 2014 and former Sydney FC Women manager Strajcic succeeded her. The Matildas reached the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Olmypics under his leadership and were ranked as high as fourth in the world governing body Fifa’s ranking.

Australia are now ranked sixth in the world and begin their World Cup campaign against Italy on 9 June, before group games against Brazil and Jamaica.


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