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Football Australia director Heather Reid facing push to oust her from board

When Stajcic was mysteriously axed from the Matildas in January 2019 after a unanimous board decision, Kamasz was one of the loudest voices in demanding answers from the national federation, which said the move was triggered by non-specific issues around team culture and player welfare.

Kamasz later described an independent review into the saga as an “whitewash” with “zero credibility” and an “absolute disgrace” in social media posts which have since been taken down, also claiming he had “incriminating information” for the review that he could not supply because of its narrow terms of reference.

Football NSW board member Stefan Kamasz.

Football NSW board member Stefan Kamasz.

Reid, who was the deputy chair of FA at the time, made a formal apology to Stajcic for “damage, distress and hurt” she may have caused the coach after she made public intimations that he was fired because of untoward conduct.

Stajcic received a separate apology and six-figure settlement from FA and is now coach of the Central Coast Mariners, who have made a blistering start to the new A-League season with five wins from their first seven matches.

FNSW submitted notices for Reid’s removal to FA in December, more than three months after it learned of the alleged “damaging commentary” about Kamasz. According to an explanatory notice sent by FNSW to all members of FA’s congress last week, and seen by the Herald, Kamasz had been characterised as “sexist, a misogynist, untrustworthy, and someone with no experience or regard for good governance” – language Reid denies using. No specific examples were provided.

In the letter, FNSW described pushing for Reid’s removal as a “last course of action” because there were no other defined grievance procedures or mechanisms available to submit any complaint about her alleged misconduct to FA, and no other board member has the power to stand her down.

Other sources say the FA board reviewed and subsequently dismissed FNSW’s complaints about Reid, and that Reid was fully entitled to probe Kamasz’s suitability for the board with other directors because of his recent public criticism of FA’s board, management and congress, but that she never used the alleged language.

Reid denied all allegations of improper conduct in a formal response FNSW received in December, and in a statement on Tuesday, said she was aware of the motion being brought against her.

“I believe there is no credible basis for the motion and I am disappointed that a member of Football Australia has chosen to proceed in this manner especially when FNSW rejected informal approaches and a formal offer of mediation as unanimously proposed by the FA board to resolve their concerns which apparently relate to my questioning the suitability of their board nominee,” she said in a statement to the Herald.

“It does not advance the interests of football to pursue unexplained grievances or exhume issues that other parties have put behind them.

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“As a director I have always behaved in accordance with my duties to act in good faith and in the best interests of Football Australia as an organisation and football in general … [there are other issues] far more deserving of our energies and attention.

“In due course I will provide FA congress members with a more detailed response to the FNSW motion.”

A spokesperson for FA confirmed the general meeting would be held on February 19, but would not comment on FNSW’s push to remove Reid, other than to say that the board would make no recommendations to FA’s members because it was their “fundamental and exclusive right” to elect and remove directors.

A simple majority of FA’s membership – the nine state federations, the A-League clubs, Professional Footballers Australia, and the FA Women’s Council – is required to remove a board member.

Reid took nearly a year of medical leave in late January 2019 to seek treatment for cancer, returning to her duties after meeting with the heads of the nine state federations, who expressed their serious dissatisfaction with her behaviour during the Stajcic affair but resolved to leave her future in the hands of her fellow FA directors.

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