The English Football Association announced on Wednesday that the head coach of the women’s team, Mark Sampson, has been fired as their boss.
Sampson, 34, led the Lionesses to both the semifinals of the 2015 World Cup and the 2017 European Championships, their best-ever finishes on the international stage and also their highest-ever world ranking of third.
However, amid uproar regarding allegations of racist abuse and bullying from current England forward Eni Aluko, something Sampson has been cleared of by two separate investigations, the FA now cite safeguarding allegations from 2014 as the reason for firing Sampson.
His previous job was as the manager of Bristol Academy women’s team from 2009-13 and the FA say it was “unacceptable behavior by a coach.”
Below is the statement from the English Football Association in full.
The Football Association can confirm that Mark Sampson’s contract as England Women’s head coach has been terminated with immediate effect.
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.