Australia's women's World Cup preparations have been dealt a major blow with coach Alen Stajcic sacked on Saturday morning by Football Federation Australia.
FFA chairman Chris Nikou and chief executive David Gallop announced Stajcic will not continue as Matildas coach, despite overseeing one of their most successful eras, after two separate reviews into the national team set-up.
Out: Matildas boss Alen Stajcic.Credit:Marina Neil
As reported earlier on Saturday morning, the coach's tenure, which began in 2014, will end immediately.
Gallop would not comment on speculation on the coaching upheaval when asked on Friday and only explained the process that led to the termination of Stanjic's contract.
An internal survey of players and staff was followed by a supplementary review carried out by women's rights group Our Watch.
Neither Mr Gallop or Nikou would go into detail about the circumstances behind Stanjic's removal.
"I cannot make any comment other than I can confirm that we are in the process of looking at all aspects of the Matildas preparation in this critical period as we look towards the great opportunity and challenge of being a genuine contender to win the women's World Cup," Gallop said.
The now coachless Matildas enter June's Women's World Cup as one of the title contenders, having landed a place among the top six seeded nations at the tournament.
Australia are set to face New Zealand, South Korea and Argentina in the tournament of nations on home soil, beginning on February 8 before facing the US in a friendly ahead of their 2019 World Cup where they will be pitted against Italy, Jamaica and Brazil in the group stage.
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