Former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic was sacked in sensational circumstances at the weekend. Octavio Passos/Getty Images
Former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic was sacked in sensational circumstances at the weekend. Octavio Passos/Getty Images

’Absolute shambles’: Fans livid at Matildas farce

FFA chief executive David Gallop has addressed the recent Matildas drama, which saw a firestorm erupt after coach Alen Stajcic was sacked just five months out from the World Cup.

Gallop, speaking at a press conference in Coogee on Monday afternoon, revealed he met with the Australian playing group twice before addressing the media about the decision to sack the 45-year-old

"It's impressive to see their professionalism in what has been a distruptive period," Gallop said.

"It's a misconception the decision made on the coach was based solely on surveys."

Gallop said a replacement should be installed in two weeks and insisted there wasn't an internal push from inside the playing group to reinstate Stajcic.

"It's not within the power of the players to appoint a coach, nor is it to reinstate a coach," he said.

"We're in a tight timeframe and the board made the decision on Friday night with a range of information. It's an important tournament with a lot of preparation.

Gallop said "things had deteriorated over a period of time" under Stajcic's watch and that the FFA had not considered replacements yet.

"There is an ongoing review, we want to provide certainty as quick as possible with as less disruption as possible. That's the commitment we've given to the playing group today," he said.


SBS Football host Lucy Zelic unloaded on air over the Matildas farce on Monday afternoon.

Zelic told Macquarie Sports Radio's Halftime that senior figures within the FFA set-up, including David Gallop and Luke Casserly, must be held "accountable" for the drama.

"Do I believe Luke Casserly and David Gallop need to go? I do," Zelic said.

"That's a very strong thing to have to say and I don't say that lightly either.

"But I think when these sorts of things go on and can occur in your organisation and you're not aware of it - that speaks volumes about your involvement and what you're doing at the ground level because you should be knowing this.

"If journalists and other people within the football community heard rumblings of it, then I'll guarantee you he knew and they knew.

"It's a big thing to have to assume, it's not a secret in Australian football that this has come out, it's just that we have something more tangible in the form of surveys and other responses to go off rather than rumours."

Gallop met with senior Matildas players on Monday morning at the Crowne Plaza in Coogee.

Gallop remained tight-lipped publicly, not detailing specifics about Stajcic's shock removal in the wake of a report alleging cultural failings in the camp under his tenure.

The FFA boss departed without any public clarification on the surprise axing of Stajcic just five months before the World Cup in France.

Lucy Zelic has gone all in.
Lucy Zelic has gone all in.

The Matildas are next in action later next month when hosting a four-nation series, with the FFA pledging to find an interim coach to lead Australia through to the World Cup.

Arsenal's women's team manager Joe Montemurro has been linked to the role as Stajcic considers his legal options.

A core group of players, including captains Clare Polkinghorne and Lisa De Vanna and star attacker Sam Kerr took to social media to express alarm and hurt at their coach's axing on Saturday.

Stajcic's predecessor Tom Sermanni also hit out at Stajcic's sacking and FFA's decision to withhold the 'smoking gun' that brought about the end of his tenure.

- with AAP

FFA CEO David Gallop is under fire.
FFA CEO David Gallop is under fire.