April 2, 2019 / 6:08 AM / in 18 days

Soccer: Wood elected as first female president of New Zealand Football

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - New Zealand Football continued overhauling its governance after a tumultuous 2018 by electing Johanna Wood as its first female president at their annual congress in Auckland on Tuesday.

Wood, who was elected to NZF’s executive committee last year for a four-year term, replaces acting president Phil Barry, who resigned last week.

Barry himself replaced Deryck Shaw, who resigned in October after an independent review found the executive committee had adopted a ‘hands off approach’ to governance following complaints by the women’s national team about their coach.

“We have gone through and are continuing to go through a period of transition,” Wood said in a statement on Tuesday. “Both ExCo and the senior management team... are committed to delivering on the recommendations of the independent review.”

Wood was serving as an acting vice president until Tuesday’s election and was last month elected as the Oceania confederation’s member to the FIFA Council, which sets the world governing body’s strategic direction.

NZF was engulfed in controversy last year with the Football Ferns’ women’s team complaining about the environment created by coach Andreas Heraf, who eventually resigned. He was also NZF’s national technical director.

Chief executive Andy Martin also left the organisation and was yet to be replaced.

Reporting by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly

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