Andreas Heraf placed on 'special leave' as NZF announces Football Ferns review

New Zealand Football has announced an independent review into Andreas Heraf's handing of the Football Ferns in his role as coach.

NZF received a letter from the Players Association on Monday with up to 13 complaints from the players from the national squad, another letter followed from a previous staff member.

Football Ferns coach and NZ Football Technical Director Heraf has been given a notice of investigation with a proposal for suspension, in the meantime he is on special leave with immediate effect from his roles until the completion of the necessary employment processes.

This was a shock. Absolutely. I think there's been 13 letters that have come in."

CEO Martin denied having prior knowledge about the issues involving Heraf, despite supposedly receiving a report from a former NZF employee.

However, alarm bells rang when Martin clarified to Newshub's Andrew Gourdie that the report he received Heraf himself about the complaints.

"There was no indication of that at all," Martin said about the report he received in March, compiled by Heraf.

"The report was from the technical director, which is a compilation of all of his team's reports.

CEO Andy Martin (left) and Andreas Heraf.
CEO Andy Martin (left) and Andreas Heraf. Photo credit: Photosport

NZF president Deryck Shaw said no action on Heraf's future will be made until after the review is completed.

"We are very disappointed to be in a position where some of the players from within the Football Ferns have felt the need to formally lodge a complaint with NZ Football and would like to thank them for coming forward," said Shaw.

"We hold player welfare as a matter of utmost importance and that is why we are conducting a thorough, independent review.

"We want to ensure we better understand these issues in an objective review. 

"There is no place for inappropriate behaviour of any kind with New Zealand Football. "

"New Zealand Football has clear policies and procedures to protect the welfare of staff and players. 

"We are focused on creating an environment which gives the Football Ferns, and all of our national teams, the best chance of winning on the world stage."

The review will commence this week with the appointment of an independent investigator. 

The terms of reference under which the investigator is engaged, and the individual appointed to conduct the investigation, will be signed off by the NZPFA.