Tony Gustavsson at centre of coaching bombshell in huge blow to the Matildas

The Matildas coach has reportedly interviewed for the coaching job of Sweden's men's side.

Pictured Tony Gustavsson left and right with Sam Kerr
Reports suggest Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has interviewed for the Swedish men’s head coaching role. Image: Getty

A bombshell report claims Matildas coach Tony Gustavsson has interviewed for the head coaching role of Sweden's men’s team. Gustavsson, who is of Swedish descent, has been identified as one of the top candidates to replace outgoing coach Janne Andersson, whose seven years in charge came to an end after Sweden failed to secure qualification for Euro 2024.

Sportbladet journalist Daniel Kristoffersson reports Gustavsson met with the Swedish Football Association on "at least one occasion" and that a follow-up meeting has also been organised to discuss the vacant role. The report states the new manager will either be Gustavsson, BK Hacken boss Per-Mathias Høgmo or IF Elfsborg manager Jimmy Thelin.

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The Swedish FA are said to be hoping to name Andersson's successor by the end of the year. Football Australia has declined to comment on the reports. The latest development comes just one week after Gustavsson was linked with the United States women's team job after Vlatko Andonovski resigned with Chelsea manager Emma Hayes since being appointed to the role.

The Matildas easily moved through the second round of their Olympic qualifying campaign and are now gearing up to face the 50th-ranked Uzbekistan in February. To qualify for Paris 2024, the Matildas must beat Uzbekistan in a two-legged home-and-away play-off to secure one of the two spots given to Asian Confederation teams.

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 01: The Matildas form a huddle during the AFC Women's Asian Olympic Qualifier match between Australia and Chinese Taipei at HBF Park on November 1, 2023 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Will Russell/Getty Images)
Gustavsson insisted he was totally committed to the Matildas when he was linked to the vacant US role last week. Image: Getty

Gustavsson says he loves the Matildas job

Last week when quizzed about the US job, Gustavsson insisted he was totally committed to the Matildas. "You've heard me say the same thing over and over again: I love working with this team and I have unfinished business and a lot of players feel the same way," Gustavsson said.

"But I've said it from day one - and it's a part of this job that there's always going to be speculations. What I really want to be clear on here though, so there's no misinterpretation on this one, is that I think everyone that has worked closely to me and seen me working with this team over these three years, know how passionate I am working with this team and how much I love this team.

"So I hope people that might have a different agenda - don't use this against me now and start saying, 'Hey, where's the loyalty? Does he really like working with this team?' Gustavsson is still contracted to the Matildas, with his contract to expire following the Paris Olympics next year. The Swede took over from Ante Milicic as Matildas head coach in September 2020 and led the Matildas to a fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics and also to a fourth-place finish at the 2023 Women’s World Cup on home soil earlier this year.

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