Published: Fri, September 22, 2017
Sport | By Fredrick Flores

Trevor Brooking: Mark Sampson "interviewed fine"

Trevor Brooking: Mark Sampson

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.

But the FA has given Sampson the boot not because of the controversial Eni Aluko case but because of "clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach" while he was working at Bristol's Women's Super League club, as reported by the Sun.

"WiF understands that questions over Sampson's suitability for the role were flagged to the FA as early as 2013 during the recruitment process", the statement reads. "I think he recognizes it needed to be investigated and didn't dispute that". "The safeguarding investigation of 2014, Sampson being sent on an education course in 2015, Eniola Aluko's complaint in 2016 and Dame Tanni Grey Thompson's Duty of Care report published in April 2017 were all missed opportunities for the governing body to more closely examine the issues".

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, who joined the FA later in 2015 as chief executive, said he was made aware of the broad allegations at the time but did not know about the contents of the full report until last week.

The anonymous claims against Sampson were made in March 2014, three months after he left Bristol Academy WFC to become boss of the Lionesses.

"We were in the hotel".

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"I didn't have an argument with him about this case in point", Glenn said. 'Nigeria? Make sure they don't bring Ebola with them'. I went back to my room and I was really upset. Lots of things had been said about me over those two years but this was about my family.

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.

The FA's former director of football development, Sir Trevor Brooking, says that he was unaware of any cause for concern when he hired Mark Sampson in 2013.

The FA clarified that the claims involved more than one player.

Glenn and other FA executives will appear before a British parliamentary committee on culture, media and sports next month to answer questions about how Sampson could have held his job for so long despite the multiple allegations against him.

In recent weeks Spence has come forward to corroborate Aluko's version of events and criticised the investigations that cleared Sampson for not seeing fit to interview her about the accusations.

He said on the Today programme on Radio 4: "Be it Martin Glenn or whoever it is at the FA, if it's clear that they ignored advice and warnings that were clear, then I think their position does become untenable".

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