Football Ferns head coach on leave amid employment probe

Organizations unwilling to comment until investigation concluded

Football Ferns head coach on leave amid employment probe

Football Ferns head coach Jitka Klimková has taken a leave of absence amid an ongoing investigation into an employment-related matter, the team announced on Sunday.

"She has opted to take a leave of absence from the role for this tour while an investigation is concluded into an employment-related matter," the Ferns said in a statement.

The team did not disclose further details about the investigation, nor how long Klimková will be away.

"New Zealand Football, as well as Ford Football Ferns players and staff, will not be making any further comment on the matter until the investigation is concluded," the team said.

While on leave, Klimková is expected to miss the upcoming June international friendlies against Japan in Spain. Assistant coach Michael Mayne will act as head coach for the upcoming two games on Saturday and Tuesday at the Estadio Nueva Condomina in Murcia, Spain.

Who is Klimková?

Klimková, who is from Czechoslovakia, was appointed as head coach of the Football Ferns, the New Zealand women's national football team, in September 2021. She is the first woman appointed for the position on a full-time basis.

Prior to this stint, she worked for New Zealand Football as coach of the national under-17 women's team. She was also an assistant with the under-20s and the Ferns, Stuff reported.

Andrew Pragnell, NZ Football chief executive, previously said Klimková had a "a real passion for and connection with New Zealand."

This was "always going to be important for us if we were appointing some who currently wasn't based in New Zealand," according to Pragnell.

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