Cape Town - The Australian women's
national football team vowed Tuesday to remain focused on their World
Cup aspirations despite the shock sacking of coach Alen Stajcic.
Federation Australia dumped Stajcic on Saturday just five months from
the World Cup over concerns about "workplace" and "player welfare"
The women's national side, known as the Matildas, on
Tuesday thanked Stajcic for his tenure and his "strong" advocacy for
"We, the Matildas, would like to acknowledge
it's been a difficult time for everyone involved," the team said in a
statement via players association Professional Footballers Australia.
"It's important for us now to stay focused on our common goal, which remains winning the World Cup 2019."
chief David Gallop at the weekend said he had lost faith in the
45-year-old coach, but calls have grown for a more detailed explanation
of the sudden dismissal.
The FFA's own newly established Women's Council said it was not consulted or made aware of the decision.
removal followed two recent confidential FFA surveys to evaluate the
team environment and culture, along with interviews involving players
Gallop told reporters Monday he had met with the
Matildas playing group after the decision and said he stressed that the
termination was not just based on the surveys but also on a "range of
reasons and a range of information".
The FFA are aiming to secure a
replacement in the next two weeks to allow the squad to prepare for the
Cup of Nations tournament on home soil ahead of the World Cup.
belief within this group is unbreakable and we will continue to
challenge ourselves and each other along this journey," the Matildas
The Cup of Nations will see the Matildas take on Argentina, South Korea and New Zealand in late February and early March.
The women's World Cup takes place in France in June and July.