The FFA’s review into the sacking of Alen Stajcic found no evidence there was bias or an agenda against the former Matildas coach, but has been criticised for a bizarre reference to an alleged ‘lesbian mafia’ which they found did not exist.
The 10-page review, which was compiled by a trio including netball great Liz Ellis, former Basketball Australia chair Diane Smith-Gander and Sydney Olympics bid chief Rod McGeoch, is intended to be used as a guide for the future governance of Australia’s national soccer teams.
The review used Stajcic’s sacking as a case study, ultimately finding no evidence he was the target of a concerted campaign to oust him from his role.
The 10-page document was criticised by some for making an explicit mention of a rumoured ‘lesbian mafia’, which was alleged to have conspired against Stajcic.
“The panel was unable to uncover any evidence supporting the existence of any formal ‘lesbian mafia’ or that the decision to terminate the Matildas head coach contract was driven by personal bias against Mr Stajcic or in pursuit of other agendas," the report said.
Despite the review finding no evidence whatsoever of any such group, some football fans thought any reference to it at all was completely unneccesary.
The FFA even acknowledging this homophobic conspiracy theory is bizarre https://t.co/EBhHqjxsUh— Thomas Bell (@TomRBell93) December 19, 2019
Wow is this FFA report bringing back bad memories reporting on the Matildas. I would just say sensationalising on the 'lesbian mafia' is wrong & hurtful. It is an unnecessary othering of women and queer ppl in one of the few places they thrive in Australian sport. Don't buy in.— Ben McKay (@benmackey) December 19, 2019
Some found found the references particularly unneccesary considering the report found talk of a ‘lesbian mafia’ had been a fabrication of the media.
"Traditional media articles and social media ventilated the notion extensively and the panel has not been able to find evidence that the FFA took any proportionate action to address the issue nor protect the individuals who were the target of this speculation,” the report read.
'Disturbing' anti-racism campaign stuns football world
The Serie A is embroiled in yet another racism storm after unveiling monkey paintings in their new campaign to combat racism.
The Italian football league been condemned around the world this year for multiple incidents of racism directed at players such as Mario Ballotelli, Romelulu Lukaku and Kalidou Koulibaly.
But the Serie A has caused a stir of its own with a new anti-racism campaign featuring monkey artwork.
The artist, Simone Fugazzotto, is renowned for his metaphorical depictions of monkeys as human beings and explained that his intention was to "turn the concept back on the racists", highlighting that all humans evolved from apes.
But social media wasn’t kind to the artwork, labelling the campaign “disturbing”.
Something is wrong with Seria A, is this how to fight racism? This must be a joke and very disturbing totally wrong 💔 pic.twitter.com/kVJMGCLY2i— Maxine Kingston (@missmaxineutd) December 16, 2019