Despite the ongoing confusion about why Alen Stajcic was sacked, FFA Chair Chris Nikou says the Matildas understand the reasons behind the decision.
Australian football is still feeling the tremors from the shock decision to terminate the contract of Matildas head coach Alen Stajcic just five months away from competing at the 2019 France World Cup.
Today Heather Reid became the latest casualty after she stepped down from the FFA Board as Director just a couple of months after the former Head of Capital football was voted into the role.
Reid has been involved in the fallout of Stajcic’s removal after accusations were levelled at her that she was behind the Matildas coach’s sacking, a charge she vehemently denied.
Today’s statement from the FFA made no mention of the recent controversy only that Reid’s decision to step down was due to her undergoing chemotherapy treatment for a medical condition.
Meanwhile Lisa De Vanna is the latest Matilda to comment on the embroil telling Fairfax that, “there's a lot of hurt that's come out of this” and that Stajcic’s sacking had “caused chaos.”
The Matildas legend’s response is in sharp contrast to Nikou who exclusively told FTBL that the players accepted Stajcic ‘s sacking when they attended a two day camp at the beginning of last week.
“They have worked through some issues and my understanding is that people are understanding of the decision and there is a great resolve to get on with football matters,” he said.
“It was a two day workshop that was planned to address some of those issues and David Gallop and the requisite senior management team were there when they addressed the senior Matildas camp.”
With the Women's World Cup kicking off in just 128 days’ time Nikou was confident that sacking the national team coach would not jeopardise the Matildas chances of success in France.
“This group has the potential to go deep into the tournament,” he said.“They have the Four Nations tournament coming up and that is an important hit out for them.
"It’s probably the last significant one in the competition space.”
With the FFA bidding for the 2023 Women’s World Cup, Nikou put aside the recent tumult and was confident Australia could not only win football’s pinnacle event but win the right to host it as well.
“They are all big challenges in their own right,” he said. “We’ve won the Asian Cup thanks to Ange Postecoglou, the Matildas now get a chance to win the World Cup and hosting a Women’s World Cup is important for Australian football for a variety of reasons.
“If we got it we could do a wonderful job. We actually haven’t had a FIFA tournament since 1993 when the men’s youth tournament was here, so on one hand we are due.
“As Australians we have a got track record of putting on great events, we have stadiums in place and we have got a proud history of supporting women’s football in this country.
“But we are one country out of 250 in the FIFA environment and there is a process that we need to run through and satisfy the various federations that we are a safe and very sensible choice.”