Tuesday 21 November 2017

England coach sacked over fresh allegations

Mark Sampson was dismissed. Photo: PA
Mark Sampson was dismissed. Photo: PA

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Mark Sampson was sacked as England women's manager yesterday for inappropriate relationships with his female players during his previous spell as manager of Bristol Academy.

Football Association CEO Martin Glenn made the decision after reading a 2015 FA safeguarding report into Sampson concerning his relationships with his players while at Bristol, where he ran the 16s to 19s programme and coached their women's first team.

The FA safeguarding panel decided in March 2015 that Sampson could continue to work in football, but when Glenn reviewed the report in detail he decided, along with the FA board, that Sampson had "overstepped the professional boundaries between player and coach".

There is no accusation of illegal activity against Sampson. "Nothing illegal to our knowledge took place," Glenn said in a hastily-convened press briefing at Wembley yesterday. "It is an issue about the relationship between coach and players. We have seen the information and decided the conduct was not what we want from an FA employee."

Sampson had been pursued by accusations of racism and bullying all summer but his dismissal was not directly connected to those incidents. It came about after an anonymous tip-off last week from someone outside the organisation prompted the FA to re-examine the details in the safeguarding report into Sampson.

On Tuesday night he led England to an 6-0 World Cup qualifying win over Russia, but on yesterday afternoon he was telephoned to be told he had been dismissed.

Sampson left Bristol Academy for the England job in December 2013. FA chairman Gregg Clarke said of the allegations against Sampson that "some could be categorised as trivial, some as very serious, none as criminal." (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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