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Damian Collins says Mark Sampson sacking 'reflects very poorly' on FA

Damian Collins says Mark Sampson sacking 'reflects very poorly' on FA

Mark Sampson has been sacked by the Football Association as England Women's manager because of "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour".

MARK SAMPSON was sacked as England women's manager.

But Sampson's tenure was marked by accusations of impropriety that first arose only months after he was hired in December 2013, and on Wednesday - less than 24 hours after his team began qualification for the 2019 World Cup with a 6-0 win over Russian Federation - the English Football Association fired him, citing "clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" in a statement announcing its decision.

But on Wednesday, Sampson's contract was terminated over historic allegations over his actions dating back to 2014.

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.

The shock announcement was made by FA chief executive Martin Glenn less than 24 hours after Sampson presided over England's 6-0 win over Russian Federation in a World Cup qualifier.

His last match in charge saw England beat Russian Federation 6-0 on Tuesday (September 19) in a qualifier for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

The 34-year-old Welshman became England head coach in December 2013 after leaving Bristol Academy, now renamed Bristol City Women. "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".

The findings were flagged up to the FA leadership because Sampson was coming under mounting pressure over allegations of racism, harassment and bullying by former England striker Eni Aluko.

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An anonymous tip-off from someone outside the organisation allowed the FA to re-examine details in a safeguarding report on Sampson made earlier in his career.

"We felt that during his time at Bristol, Mark had overstepped the professional boundaries between player and coach".

The Times first revealed that warnings about his suitability had been given to the FA before his appointment and this has been confirmed by WiF.

'Nothing illegal to our knowledge took place, ' Glenn said.

"It's obviously a surprise the allegations that have come out [against Sampson] but I think it's for everyone else, the FA and the investigations team".

The details of Sampson's improper behaviour have not been made clear but they are understood to involve a relationship with a player, although there is no suggestion of any criminal wrongdoing.

He added on Sky News: "Do we need nearly a new body that sits outside of the FA that can look at serious issues like this that require proper and full investigation?" According to multiple reports, the FA did not talk to other England players who were present when Sampson allegedly made the racist statements.

MP Damian Collins said senior figures at the FA, including chief executive Martin Glenn, had "difficult questions" to answer over why they took so long to look into the "incredibly serious matters" in Sampson's past.