The English FA has sacked Mark Sampson, England National Women team’s coach, over inappropriate relations with Bristol Academy female players. Sampson came under heat, after Eniola Aluko, the elder sister of Nigeria striker Sone Aluko accused him of subjecting her alongside her Nigerian family to a racist ebola joke. An accusation she claimed got her dropped from the England squad by Sampson.
The FA says it was recently given full details of the report into Sampson’s conduct, despite the allegations first being made in March 2014 which he denied. The 34-year-old denied the allegation and was cleared by an internal FA review, as well as an independent investigation led by barrister Katharine Newton QC.
However the FA says Aluko’s allegations are unrelated to his dismissal.
“The Football Association can confirm that Mark Sampson’s contract as England Women’s head coach has been terminated with immediate effect,” said a statement by the FA.
“Prior to taking charge of the national team in December 2013, Sampson was manager of Bristol Academy.
“In 2014, safeguarding allegations were made against him about his time with Bristol Academy. The safeguarding assessment was that he did not pose a risk working in the game.
“However, the full report of that investigation was only brought to the attention of the current FA leadership last week and it is our judgement that it revealed clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach.
“It is on this basis that we have acted quickly to agree a termination of Sampson’s contract.
“In respect of investigations into specific allegations made by Eniola Aluko in 2016, The FA stands by the findings of the independent barrister Katharine Newton’s investigation.
“Sampson has denied all of the accusations put to him and no evidence of wrong-doing was found.
“We will continue to support the independent investigation as it reviews the recent evidence presented to it and publish any new findings and recommendations.”
Sampson presided over his last match as England manager on Tuesday night, a World Cup qualifier which the Lionesses (England’s female team) defeated Russia 6-0.