FFA inquiry slammed for banning Stajcic input

Former Matildas' head coach Alan Stajcic (right) is joined by Football Coaches Australia President Phil Moss as he speaks to the media in Sydney. Source: AAP

Australia's football coaches union has expressed concern about the narrow scope of the terms of reference for an FFA inquiry into national team management.

Sacked Matildas coach Alen Stajcic will not be allowed to be interviewed or make submissions to an independent review of FFA national team management, Australia's soccer coaches union has argued.

FFA announced on August 19 that a three-person panel chaired by businesswoman Diane Smith-Gander along with ex-Australia netball captain Liz Ellis and Sydney Olympics bid mastermind Rod McGeoch will undertake the review.

The panel will investigate decision-making processes and the way in which items are reported to the FFA board within national teams, in the wake of Stajcic's controversial sacking in January.

The panel will not review Stajcic's actual termination just months before this year's Women's World Cup, but will use the decision as an example to shed light on processes within national team management structures.

Football Coaches Australia (FCA) has welcomed the review but says the panel's terms of reference are too narrow.

Under the terms, the panel can only interview relevant FFA senior management and national team staff as well as review existing documentation, information and correspondence.

The FCA said among those who could be interviewed are people who have since departed FFA or signalled their intention to depart, such as chief executive David Gallop and head of women's football Emma Highwood.

The terms, however, would prevent Stajcic from being an active participant in the inquiry's review.

"Questions must be asked as to why the terms of reference for the inquiry do not extend to permitting third-party submissions nor the opportunity for the independent panel to interview persons employed by football stakeholders that had direct or indirect involvement in the termination of Alen," FCA president Phil Moss said in a statement.

"As it stands, the terms of reference only permit the panel to interview FFA senior management and national team staff whilst also conducting a documentation review. Some of those staff have already departed FFA and others have signaled their intention to leave in the coming months.

"Although FCA understands and acknowledges that the review is not seeking to determine the validity of the decision to terminate Alen, we fear the terms of reference in their current state will not permit the panel to arrive at findings that ensure that such a situation never occurs again in future."

The panel's report is expected to be delivered to the FFA board by the end of October.

Source AAP