New Zealand Football boss quits over bullying scandal

The New Zealand women’s football team has been ravaged by a bullying scandal. (AFP pic)

WELLINGTON: New Zealand Football (NZF) president Deryck Shaw resigned on Friday in the wake of a bullying scandal involving the national women’s team, the Football Ferns.

Shaw apologised last week for his organisation’s inaction over allegations about former women’s coach Andreas Heraf and said Friday he was stepping down “for the good of the game”.

“I have decided that it is appropriate at this time that I resign from my role as president, to allow football to move forward,” he said.

“This is my decision as the head of the organisation and it is the right thing to do.”

An independent review released last week found NZF failed to stop bullying, harassment, and intimidation by Heraf despite numerous complaints about the Austrian coach.

Heraf quit in July, a few weeks after it was revealed that 13 members of the team no longer wanted to play under him and had complained about his conduct.

The then NZF chief executive, Andy Martin, initially backed Heraf and later said he was “shocked” to have received written complaints from players.

Martin also resigned in the wake of the affair and returned to his native Britain.

Shaw’s deputy Phil Barry was named acting president until the next NZF congress in 2019.