Alen Stajcic may be banned from being part of the review into how he came to be sacked as Matildas coach, Football Coaches Australia revealed today.
Stajcic was summarily sacked in January after two surveys identified issues needing following up within the team, despite Stajcic having already set up player workshops to discuss the survey results.
The dismissal sparked a furious row within Australian football and an ever-changing narrative from the FFA about the reasons for the sacking – on the eve of the Women's World Cup – caused deep divides within the sport.
The FFA later paid Stajcic a lump sum and deputy chair of the FFA Board Heather Reid made a public apology for comments she made about the coach to others, having already stood down from her post for medical reasons.
Now the FFA have appointed an independent panel to conduct an inquiry into the way the national teams are run in the wake of the row.
But FCA says the terms of reference for the inquiry will rule out Stajcic being able to tell the inquiry panel his perspective on his sacking.
Legal advice to the FCA says the inquiry will only be able to interview current coaching staff and FFA management, and inspect any relevant paperwork.
Other key figures in the decision to axe Stajcic may also have left the FFA by the time the review gets round to interviewing them.
Head of women's football Emma Highwood is set to exit this week, and CEO David Gallop is currently serving out his notice too, with others also expected to leave soon after FFA 's imminent split from the A-League.
"FCA welcomes the independent inquiry into FFA's management and processes regarding National Teams," said FCA president Phil Moss today.
"This has followed the significant damage to Alen's reputation and mental well-being, largely caused by various public and private communications made by members of the FFA Board and FFA senior management.
"Our hope is that the review leads to the implementation of due practice whereby
any coach who is terminated, or being considered for termination, is afforded proper process."
But he added: "Questions must be asked as to why the Terms of Reference do not extend to third-party submissions nor football stakeholders that had involvement in the termination of Alen.
"As it stands, the Terms of Reference only permit the panel to interview FFA senior management and national team staff whilst also conducting a documentation review.
"Some of those staff have already departed FFA and others have signalled their intention to leave in the coming months."
Football Coaches Australia believes the review will be doomed to fail unless its scope is extended.
"We fear the Terms of Reference in their current state will not permit the panel to arrive at findings that ensure that such a situation never occurs again in future," said Moss.
"While the termination of Alen has proven the catalyst for this inquiry, the broader issue is a heightened respect for coaches moving forward.
"FCA will continue to strive for due process, procedural fairness, a unified grievance procedure and standardised contracts for its professional coaches."