New Zealand men's soccer coach Fritz Schmid has quit suddenly and will return to Switzerland, having effectively had nothing to do for the last 12 months.
One of the soccer world's quietest tenures as a national coach is over after Fritz Schmid announced his abrupt departure from the All Whites.
Swiss mentor Schmid quit just 16 months into his four-year contract in another blow for New Zealand Football, which has been beset by managerial strife for the last 18 months.
The national men's team hasn't played a game for more than a year, leaving Schmid to effectively twiddle his thumbs since overseeing two matches at a low-key tournament in India last year.
The 59-year-old gave no reason for his immediate departure in a NZF statement.
"After careful reflection of my private and professional situation, I have decided to return to Switzerland. I have therefore resigned from NZ Football effective 21 June 2019," he said.
"I am extremely grateful for my experience at the helm of the All Whites. I have met countless members of the New Zealand football community, who received me with great respect and true open-mindedness."
Schmid's resignation comes days before he was to oversee an under-23 men's training camp ahead of an Olympic qualifying tournament in Samoa.
Organising friendly fixtures is an ongoing challenge for the 119th-ranked All Whites. Their next match is scheduled for Dublin in November.
The relative remoteness of New Zealand makes it an unattractive destination while most leading All Whites are spread across global leagues, making it a logistical and expensive challenge to play regularly.
The sport was rocked last year when NZF technical director Andreas Heraf resigned following complaints over his intimidatory approach to coaching the national women's team.
Chief executive Andy Martin followed him out the door soon afterwards after criticism of his handling of the affair.