Former Matildas assistant coach Nahuel Arrarte has revealed three members of staff and “a few players” were interviewed by Football Federation Australia in relation to Alen Stajcic’s termination.

Arrarte told Evenings on FNR the process contradicted what had been done previously when Hesterine de Reus was sacked, raising more questions about what led to the decision.

“When the previous coach was sacked there was a multiple paged report and all players and staff were interviewed,” Arrarte said.

“Here three members of staff and my understanding is only a few players were interviewed – but why didn’t they all get interviewed?

“Now we’re relying on a survey and I’m not sure if it provides enough evidence to warrant a sacking.”

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For Arrarte, the decision came as a major shock.

The Matildas had won the hearts of the nation after climbing to their highest-ever ranking and placing belief in supporters nationwide this would be the team to bring a FIFA World Cup trophy to Australia.

Arrarte, who stepped down as the team’s assistant coach following this decision, believes Stajcic’s termination goes “beyond football.”

“First and foremost, this is beyond football,” Arrarte said.

“For someone to get dismissed without a reason or factual information makes it difficult to understand.

“The decision I made to step away was based on knowing Alen [Stajcic] as a person, coach and family man.”

When asked about the alleged ‘toxic culture’ within the team, Arrarte says this accusation was the most surprising to see.

“The toxic atmosphere and culture is something that is laughable,” Arrarte said.

“The environment is full of fun.

“We have Matildas who are great athletes and are dedicated towards improving every day.

“Like any squad you’re going to have upset members who aren’t playing but that’s the reality of elite sport.

“In every camp you see players working hard and beginning to understand what it’s like to be a professional.”

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Over the last few days there have been calls for parents to speak up about the alleged mistreatment of the players.

It has also been reported partners and parents of the players took part in the survey conducted by Our Watch.

“We have to remember we’re talking about elite athletes here,” Arrarte said.

“Unless a player is underage parents at this level have nothing to do with the situation.

“Can you imagine Graham Arnold asking parents to come out and talk?

“We have a sports psychologist full-time and enough good people to help the team.”

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Athos Sirianos
athos@footballnationradio.com.au