Football Federation Australia tonight fired back at former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic and doubled down on their decision to axe him.
Stajcic today issued a statement and held a press conference in a bid to clear his name and reputation after he was dramatically dismissed by the FFA on January 19.
He insisted he had not been made aware then of the reasons and still was no wiser why the axe had fallen.
Tonight though, just prior to the first FFA board meeting since the crisis began, chairman Chris Nikou hit back in a media statement, insisting Stajcic had admitted the culture was "dysfunctional".
“The FFA’s Board notes Mr Stajcic’s comments this morning," said Nikou. "We disagree with many of his assertions and were surprised by a number of his comments.
"Indeed Mr Stajcic, by his own admission and in the presence of an FFA lawyer and the FFA CEO David Gallop, said that the team environment was ‘dysfunctional’ and was ‘always going to be this way’.
"In those circumstances we decided to act in time to put the team’s FIFA Women’s World Cup campaign back on track. It’s the Board’s duty to make these decisions."
He added: “We have been 100% focused on the immediate and long-term well-being of our team and staff.
"Our decision to act was driven out of care and concern for our players and people. It was and remains our sole motivation. Any suggestions to the contrary are incorrect.
“Nothing Mr Stajcic said today changes the facts, that built up over time, that informed the FFA’s decision to legally terminate his employment as Coach of the Matildas.
"The FFA reached a unanimous view that Mr Stajcic was no longer the right person to enable the Matildas to perform at their best - on and off the pitch.
"Coaching contracts generally contain provisions to deal with situations where the Board determines there needs to be a change of coach. They do so by providing for a pre-agreed payment to be made in lieu of notice which is what occurred here."
Moments after sacking Stajcic in January, FFA CEO David Gallop said he expected a new coach to be appointed for the Matildas by early February.
But the position is still vacant, just two weeks before Australia hosts the Cup of Nations, ahead of June's Women's World Cup.
And tonight Gallop admitted it will now be be several more weeks before they make an appointment.
He added: “Our focus is on the recruitment of the new coach of the Matildas. We will be announcing the new coach in the coming weeks.
“We are not going to get into a point by point debate that further distracts the team. Mr Stajcic knows that the team environment, contrary to today’s comments, was not satisfactory. A change was needed.
"We are also mindful that the people who participated in the review processes, including the surveys and other information gathered, did so on a confidential basis. We will not breach those commitments to players and staff.
“We appreciate and acknowledge Mr Stajcics’ best wishes for the team and the players and it was never our intent to cause him or his family distress. It was a decision based on the best outcome for the players and staff."