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Time to forgive and forget after Heather Reid’s apology

Lachlan Roberts 11 June 2019 5
Heather Reid

The photo of Heather Reid that sent Twitter into meltdown.

How often does the story of a smiling woman photographed in France make the headlines? Rarely, if at all, but your odds will go up if your name is Heather Reid.

Eyebrows were raised when Football Federation Australia director Heather Reid was snapped smiling in France where she was invited by FIFA to attend its women’s football convention on the eve of the women’s World Cup.

Reid, who is currently taking sick leave from the FFA board as she recovers from endometrial cancer, covered the cost of her own flights and accommodation and made the decision to take the holiday following her doctor’s recommendation.

But once the Matildas suffered a shock loss to Italy in its opening match on Sunday night, all hell broke loose. Many took to social media to blame the loss on her and her involvement in the unceremonious sacking of former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic just six months before the World Cup.

How dare she be over there in France, smiling, enjoying herself when she is to blame for the Matilda’s loss, many football fans said, seething. She was the one that got him sacked after all, right?

Let’s rewind for a moment.

In a statement, FFA said it made the decision to sack Stajcic because the board formed the view that the Matildas would benefit from a new coach for the FIFA World Cup in France.

As a board director, Reid had a say in his sacking, but she wasn’t the only one to cut the coach’s contract. Stajic’s contract was terminated by the board “exercising its contractual right of termination by making a pre-agreed payment in lieu of notice”. Boards act as a whole, not as individuals and they are obliged to do so by their charter of operations.

Reid’s unnecessary involvement was in the comments she made suggesting the public would be “shocked” if they knew the truth. She told the media Stajcic should never work in the women’s game again. She has since publicly apologised for these statements.

She has not apologised for her role in the sacking of Stajcic and why should she? The board stands by its decision. All she has apologised for are the comments she made about Stajcic. Public baying for more blood is unnecessary and will achieve precisely nothing for our World Cup campaign.

Why can’t we throw our support behind the Matildas regardless of a win, loss or a draw, rather than looking for someone to blame?


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5 Responses to Time to forgive and forget after Heather Reid’s apology
Jess Aan Jess Aan 7:26 am 13 Jun 19

Here here!

chewy14 6:41 pm 12 Jun 19

Why is it wrong to judge the board on the results of the team when as you say above they’re in control?

Harper Pirsig Harper Pirsig 5:13 pm 12 Jun 19

I think you’ll find if the sacking didn’t happen the footballing pubic would have been totally behind the Matildas and not divided. The signs had been so positive. That sacking decision by FFA soured support, which is sad for the Matilda players. You only get a World Cup every four years, and the Matildas didn’t deserve the terribly distracting lead up brought about by FFA. It must have effected their football, although they are publicly saying otherwise, and it certainly attracted a conventional and social media storm. I feel for the Matildas players, not the FFA. The FFA’s actions were a self inflicted wound on our game.

Jess Aan Jess Aan 5:00 pm 12 Jun 19

Here here!

franky22 4:07 pm 12 Jun 19

Well sports bureaucrats living it up at big overseas events never plays well particularly when you consider the exorbitant amount it costs to register junior players.

Heather (and the Board) will be judged by the performance of the Matildas at the World Cup. Sacking the previous coach was a huge gamble and quiet astonishing to the public. The players seemed happy with him & the team was playing superb football in fact only the USA was playing better.
Its all gone south since then. If the team does not get into the next round then Heather & the whole Board should resign.

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