New Zealand's women football players prefer a ''family fun culture'' to high standards and professionalism, according to suspended Football Ferns coach Andreas Heraf.

Speaking for the first time since being placed on special leave following 13 complaints about him from players, Heraf told Austrian newspaper Der Standard that they opposed his style.

"The players oppose my European style, with high standards and high expectations of professionalism, and prefer a fun and family culture with a focus on making fun videos and opening up to social networking.

"It's not a problem for me, fun culture and professionalism is not mutually exclusive if you say that we are 100 per cent committed to what we agreed to do, just as the players pretended to be in tactics, I told them that it would not be possible to have a say in the preparation and composition of the supervisor staff.''


New Zealand Football is conducting an independent review into allegations of bullying and intimidation by Heraf. Chief executive Andy Martin has since left.

Heraf told Der Standard there was a ''large-scale conspiracy'' and he was sure he could clear up the allegations.

The Viennese also wants to stay in New Zealand after completing the investigation and continue to work as both women's team leader and sports director of the association.

He said there were different views on the achievement of goals. The team boss wanted to lead the New Zealanders to the first victory at a World Cup and survive the group stage at the 2019 World Cup finals.

On the allegations of bullying he said they were "out of thin air".

"Some people wrote in the letter that they would not be available [to play for the Football Ferns if Heraf stayed as coach] under these circumstances, you have to take note of that, but I would talk to everyone again and try to change their minds, and I assume that too this thing is cooked hotter than it is eaten.''