The key points from the review of New Zeland Football conducted by Auckland lawyer Phillipa Muir, stemming from complaints made by 12 Football Ferns players against former coach Andreas Heraf of Austria.
1) Heraf "crossed the line" in areas of harassment and bullying on Football Ferns tours. Muir said she understood the need for "robust" coaching but Heraf repeatedly "offended, humiliated or intimidated" players and staff. One staff member resigned and many complainants said they would not play under Heraf again and remain distressed and humiliated.
2) Attacked the way Heraf was appointed as Football Ferns head coach in 2017 - there was no selection/recruitment process and it broke FIFA guidelines which discourage a national technical director being a national head coach.
3) Described New Zealand Football as a "boys club" which tolerated inappropriate banter. Only 21 percent of staff are female, and there are no women on the senior leadership team. NZF needs compulsory 'unconscious bias' training for all its staff.
4) More care is needed when appointing a coach not used to the women's game. Muir consulted the former Samoan international Sarai Bareman, FIFA's chief women's football officer, who told her the fundamentals were the same between men and women's teams but there were psychological and physical differences.
5) We are not alone...a UK report claimed nearly a third of British Olympic and Paralympic athletes had experienced or witnessed unacceptable behaviour in their elite programmes. Sport NZ boss Peter Miskimmin told Muir that national sports organisations could no longer pursue winning at all costs, and need more balanced views including the wellbeing of athletes.
6) Ricki Herbert is the only Kiwi among the last 14 coaches of the All Whites since 1976. ..."systems need to be put in place to address this".
7) Ordered New Zealand Football to apologise to the Football Ferns plus provide counselling and support. There needs to be a players' complaint procedure.
8) The report lacks specific detail on what, for instance, constituted bullying and harassment by Heraf. It notes that the terms of former CEO Andy Martin's departure are confidential, limiting what can be included about his his performance. Heraf declined to comment when presented with the report's findings by Muir after his return to Europe.
9) Painted a healthy picture of the game in many respects...junior and women's football is growing strongly and Futsal "booming". Player surveys report high satisfaction ratings.
* Muir is a top employment lawyer and partner at Simpson Grierson. The review took two months, and she interviewed about 80-odd people including Martin and Heraf.