Underfire New Zealand women’s coach Andreas Heraf has quit, ending a wobbly era which culminated in most top players refusing to play for him.
The embattled coach’s resignation came as the New Zealand Football Association launched an investigation into complaints about the former Austrian international who has been on “Special leave” since June.
NZF president Deryck Shaw accepted the 50-year-old’s resignation but said the inquiry would continue into issues raised in written protest from 13 players who said they would not play for New Zealand again if he remained in charge.
Heraf resignation is with immediate effect as both coach of the Football Ferns,[as the women’s team is known], and as New Zealand’s technical director.
He is yet to comment in New Zealand but in a recent interview with Austrian newspaper Der Standard, he alleged there was a “Large-scale conspiracy” against him.
Problems within the women’s camp came to the fore after their tour of Spain in March, following which New Zealand’s most-capped player, Abby Erceg, quit in annoyance.
The player criticism got to a peak in June following Heraf’s comments after a 3-1 loss in the hands of Japan in which New Zealand were told to play an ultra-defensive game.