as Ferns coach has now reached boiling point with at least 10 players writing a complaint detailing their concerns around the lack of professionalism developing in the squad.
Heraf, who is also NZF’S technical director, came under heavy criticism following his team’s recent 3-1 loss to Japan, after saying they adopted an ultradefensive approach, as they ‘‘could have lost 8-0’’ had they been more positive, playing a team they ‘‘will never have [the] quality to compete with’’. However it is understood their concerns go deeper than on-field tactics.
It was revealed yesterday that NZF is deliberately flouting a Fifa directive by employing Andreas Heraf as both national women’s coach and technical director.
Fifa say the two posts are ‘‘incompatible’’, but Heraf has been doing both jobs since December and intends to continue until after the 2019 Women’s World Cup.
NZF was aware of the Fifa guideline, contained in its official handbook for technical directors, when it made the decision to appoint Heraf – who became technical director last April – as Football Ferns coach when Tony Readings resigned.
The technical director’s handbook talks about the job being about establishing a ‘‘long-term vision’’ for the game, not focusing on specific results, and says: ‘‘It must be noted that the position of technical director and senior national team coach are incompatible: the senior national team coach prepares the next game, whereas the technical director prepares the future of football in the country.’’
One former senior New Zealand football official said the organisation had always been aware it shouldn’t combine the roles.
‘‘It was clear that a high performance role was one about researching best practice and implementing systems: it should not be about coaching per se.
‘‘Combining the two roles is ridiculous – it reeks of saving money. So does the Ferns coach report to himself?’’
Meanwhile, one of New Zealand’s leading football academies is asking for a "please explain" from NZF as it contemplates its players’ participation in agegroup teams.
The Ole Football Academy, based in Porirua, near Wellington, has taken the step of contacting the national body to outline its concerns about the direction NZF is heading under Heraf.
Ole chairman Dave Wilson said he had written to NZF chief executive Andy Martin on Monday for a ‘‘please explain’’ about the changes NZF has made to its strategic coaching direction.
Ole technical director Declan Edge, a former All White, said their stance was being guided by the players, who did not want to attend NZF camps.
‘‘They’re all trying to get out of the camps. Nobody wants to go to the camps.
‘‘I’m not having an issues with any of the players wanting to go to the camps, it’s the opposite. That’s including players we work with in full national teams, down to the 17s, including the 17s girls.’’
Players who had gone to camps came back with very negative reports, Edge said.
One was understood to be contemplating switching allegiance to a country which they held dual citizenship with, such was their dismay at the football they were being asked to play.