Football Federation Australia director Heather Reid has apologised to the former Matildas coach Alen Stajcic for comments she made about him when he was sacked in January.
In a statement, Ms Reid said she was quoted in a newspaper article saying “if people knew the actual facts about Mr Stajcic’s behaviour ‘they would be shocked’.”
She said she withdrew the statements “entirely and unconditionally”.
“I regret making these statements. I apologise also for pain and suffering that I have caused to Mr Stajcic’s wife and two young children,” she said in the statement.
Ms Reid is currently taking sick leave from the FFA board.
In the statement, she said she also spoke to other journalists “who have used my words to compound the speculation and innuendo as to the reason why Mr Stajcic’s employment was terminated”.
The ABC understands that Stajcic demanded an apology from Heather Reid as a term of his settlement with FFA.
He will not pursue any more legal action against FFA.
FFA has distanced itself from Ms Reid’s comments when Stajcic was sacked, saying the “statements were not made on behalf of FFA and did not reflect the decision of the board or the reasons why it made that decision”.
Stajcic was sacked suddenly in January just six months before he was due to coach the Matildas at the Women’s Football World Cup.
He was subsequently replaced by Ante Milicic.
FFA said on Friday that Stajcic’s contract was terminated because the “board formed the view, following a process undertaken by management, that the Matildas would benefit from a new coach for the FIFA World Cup in France”.
The FFA statement said the board and Stajcic “have also agreed to resolve their differences and move forward and neither will be making any further comment on these issues”.