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FFA issues formal apology to Stajcic

Alen Stajcic has received a formal apology from Football Federation Australia for the manner in whic..

By Sunday Herald Team , in Sports , at May 31, 2019

Alen Stajcic has received a formal apology from Football Federation Australia for the manner in which the organisation's hierarchy handled his abrupt dismissal as Matildas coach in January.

Almost five months after Stajcic was stood down, FFA announced the former Matildas coach had not breached the terms of his contract and his dismissal did not relate to serious behavioural issues.

Stajcic held a press conference in February after his sacking from the Matildas job.

Stajcic held a press conference in February after his sacking from the Matildas job.Credit:AAP

On Friday morning, FFA sought to clarify Stajcic's dismissal as not being a "sacking" while distancing themselves from the behaviour of baord member Heather Reid who fuelled the public innuendo around Stajcic's performance and behaviour.

Reid penned a personal apology to Stajcic for her public and private comments made in the wake of his dismissal, suggesting the public would be "shocked" if they knew the truth and telling the media Stajcic would never work in women's soccer again.

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"I apologise unreservedly for the damage, distress and hurt that I have caused to Alen Stajcic as a professional football coach and long-time servant to, and advocate for, Australian and womens football. I understand that my conduct in making public and private statements may have caused serious damage to Mr Stajcics reputation, both in Australia and internationally," Reid said in a statement.

"I also, at around this time, sent personal communications to a number of people including various members of the media, in which I suggested that, if the whole truth could be told, Mr Stajcic would never work again in womens football.

"I understand also that these communications ended up in the hands of other journalists who have used my words to compound the speculation and innuendo as to the reason why Mr Stajcics employment was terminated.

"I withdraw my statements entirely and unconditionally. Mr Stajcics contract was terminated by FFA, by a decision of the FFA board, of which I am a member. FFA elected to terminate Mr Stajcics employment contract by it making a payment in lieu of notice.

"Mr Stajcics contract was not terminated by FFA for breach of contract by Mr Stajcic, or because of any misconduct on Mr Stajcics part. I accept that I was wrong to imply otherwise."

Earlier, FFA reitereated Stajcic's contract was terminated with a payment and not sacked for any breach of his contract.

"Alens contract was terminated by FFA exercising its contractual right of termination by making a pre-agreed payment in lieu of notice. FFAs decision to do this was reached simply because its Board formed the view, following a process undertaken by management, that the Matildas would benefit from a new coach for the FIFA World Cup in France," the FFA statement read.

"FFA acknowledges that some of the speculation about the termination of Alens contract was caused by statements made by one of its directors, Heather Reid.

"These statements were not made on behalf of FFA and did not reflect the decision of the Board or the reasons why it made that decision. Heather has withdrawn those comments and issued an apology to Alen for having made them."

Stajcic had been in talks for months with FFA over the manner of his termination, with lawyers discussing the ramifications of the way he was dismissed as Matildas coach.

Aside from one high-profile press conference, the now Central Coast Mariners boss remained silent on the issue while the legal discussions took place.

He refused to discuss the Reid statement or the matter in general on Friday, saying he was now focused on rebuilding his career in the men's game after the ''hurtful'' aRead More – Source

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