Friday 31 May 2019
Football Coaches Australia (FCA) welcomes the statement today from Football Federation Australia (FFA) and the apology from FFA deputy chair Heather Reid regarding the termination of former Matildas coach and FCA member, Alen Stajcic (Stajcic).
Whilst FCA acknowledges that Reid has “unconditionally apologised” for her remarks that caused “damage, distress and hurt” to Alen, FCA remains extremely disappointed at both the manner in which the termination was executed and the subsequent public remarks made by members of the FFA board and executive in its aftermath.
The damage inflicted upon Alen was significant. The sustained effort to undermine his character and competency marked a shameful chapter in our sport, not least because of the extraordinary contribution Alen made to the progress of the women’s game in Australia. In the face of these efforts, Alen maintained his integrity.
FCA remains committed to supporting Alen as he rebuilds his life and his professional career. His legacy, which many past and present Matildas have spoken glowingly of, deserves to be fondly remembered.
During Alen’s tenure, the Matildas became one of the nation’s most cherished and successful sporting teams. Under his guidance, the team qualified for the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, which commences in France next week.
FCA chief executive Glenn Warry added that what happened to Alen must never be allowed to happen again.
“Unfortunately, the nature of this process outlines – in the starkest terms – why Australian football still has a fundamental problem with its treatment of coaches. The blatant and systemic disrespect for our coaches has now reached a crisis point.”
“Whilst Alen’s case is the most public example, FCA receives reports of mistreatment on a weekly basis from Australian licensed coaches employed at all levels of the professional and semi-professional game. They continue to be subjected to treatment that would be considered inappropriate in any other line of employment.
“Australian coaches deserve much better. It is time to put our foot down and say that ‘enough is enough’ on this most important of football issues.”
FCA President Phil Moss said that it was vitally important for Stajcic to have his name cleared.
“Alen Stajcic today stands vindicated that he did not, in fact, do anything wrong and that there was no ‘smoking gun’ attached to his termination by FFA.
“The narrative and insinuations that surrounded his termination have been proven to have no substance or truth to them.
“While they can never be taken back, the statement by FFA and unconditional apology by FFA director Heather Reid, at the very least, draws a line in the sand. It allows Alen, his family and the game at large to move forward with the looming FIFA Women’s World Cup in France, where our focus turns to seeing Ante Milicic and the Matildas do Australia proud.”
For further media information, please contact Glenn Warry on firstname.lastname@example.org or +61 417 346 312