Sports

Sports Minister demands answers from English FA after Sampson sacking

Sports Minister demands answers from English FA after Sampson sacking

Having previously been cleared of any wrongdoing, Mark Sampson has been sacked as England women's head coach following evidence of unidentified "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour with female players in a previous job.

The 34-year-old was sacked as England Women's manager on Wednesday, a day after leading the team to a 6-0 win over Russian Federation, for "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" in his previous role at the Bristol Academy. "WiF understands that questions over Sampson's suitability for the role were flagged to the FA as early as 2013 during the recruitment process".

Sampson had been cleared earlier this year by the governing body following allegations of racism raised by England worldwide Eniola Aluko. "We have to be really clear and I think we are at the FA, about what we stand for in that respect". We thought the conduct issues raised in the report was the problem.

England were 13th in the FIFA Rankings when Sampson was appointed in December 2013 and are now fourth after reaching the semi-finals of both the 2015 Women's World Cup and this summer's Euros.

Martin Glenn did not take up the role of chief executive until March 2015, so can not be held responsible for the decision to appoint Sampson, but he chose not to ask for details of the safeguarding investigation until last week and has backed the Welshman in the bitter dispute with Aluko, including agreeing to pay her £80,000 to settle the case earlier this year.

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The Bristol Academy allegations were far from the only knock against Sampson. In one instance, which she relayed to the Guardian last month, she said Sampson made a crass comment about her Nigerian relatives before a game against Germany in November 2014. On the wall, there was a list of the family and friends who were coming to watch us and I just happened to be next to Mark.

"I didn't have an argument with him about this case in point", Glenn said.

"I remember laughing but in a very nervous way". It might have been easier to take if it was about me alone.

Mark Sampson, who led England to third place at the 2015 World Cup, was dismissed after the Football Association leadership became aware of the full extent of an investigation into his conduct at Bristol's Women's Super League club.

His contract has been paid up in full by the FA.

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Sampson was also removed from his role as patron of the Women in Sport charity late on Wednesday night, but he was astonishingly supported by former England goalkeeper David James, who launched a verbal attack on Aluko and suggested that she had fabricated the claims to try and get Sampson sacked when he was no longer selecting her for the national team.

James" claims unsurprisingly attracted criticism from other social media users, and when asked how the Women's Super League's top goalscorer last season is not good enough for the global team, James responded that Aluko is a "poor worldwide player, not a "team' player".

It was only then that Glenn brought it to FA chairman Greg Clarke's attention and it was discussed by the board over the weekend and into Monday.

Collins added: "If you go back to the Aluko concerns, her allegations were not properly investigated".

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