Australia women's coach Alen Stajcic sacked over 'unsatisfactory' team environment

Alen Stajcic
Alen Stajcic coached Sydney FC Women before taking up his international role

Australia women's boss Alen Stajcic has been sacked less than five months before the World Cup in France over an "unsatisfactory" team environment.

A Football Federation Australia (FFA) statement said a change was needed to "improve the culture" around the squad and the move was based on the results of two confidential surveys.

"We no longer have confidence Alen is the right person to lead the team and staff," said FFA chief David Gallop.

Stajcic had been in charge since 2014.

The 45-year-old former Sydney FC Women manager succeeded Hesterine de Reus, who was dismissed following a player revolt.

He led the Matildas to the quarter-finals of the 2015 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and they climbed as high as fourth in world governing body Fifa's rankings.

Gallop said there had been discussions with players, staff and other coaches before the decision was made to sack Stajcic.

"The surveys, along with other enquiries of players and staff, have led the FFA to determine that the team environment is unsatisfactory and that a change in leadership is required to improve the culture and provide every opportunity for the team to perform to its full potential," he added.

"The ultimate responsibility for driving change and leading a high-performance environment that puts the team in the best possible position to achieve what they are capable of rests with the head coach.

"We will continue to review other aspects of the team set-up and monitor the team environment in the coming weeks and months as we build for the World Cup."

The Matildas, who are now ranked sixth in the world, begin their World Cup campaign against Italy on 9 June, with group games to follow against Brazil and Jamaica.