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Volume 7 No. 66
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Women In Football Claim FA Was Aware Of Mark Sampson Allegations In '13

Women in Football said that it is “deeply concerned” by the latest revelations surrounding former England women's Manager Mark Sampson and claimed that questions about Sampson’s suitability for the job "were flagged" to the FA as early as '13, according to Martha Kelner of the London GUARDIAN. Sampson, who was appointed England manager in Dec. '13, was sacked on Wednesday after the FA said that it had been alerted to "clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach" while he was at Bristol Academy. In a statement, Women in Football said, "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 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." FA CEO Martin Glenn, meanwhile, "will be questioned by MPs about why he did not ask sooner to see the full details of the safeguarding allegations made against Sampson concerning his time at Bristol Academy." U.K. Culture, Media & Sport Select Committee Chair Damian Collins believes Glenn "should lose his job" if it is found advice and warnings that might have seen the contract of Sampson terminated earlier were ignored (GUARDIAN, 9/21). The BBC reported the FA said that Dirs Kelly Simmons and Dan Ashworth, who were involved in Sampson's recruitment, "were not aware of any allegations before hiring him," but England players were reportedly "aware" of rumors. Former Football Development Dir Trevor Brooking and ex-Head of Communications Adrian Bevington, who also took part in the process, have declined to comment. Karen Walker, who was capped 83 times from '88-03, said that the treatment of Sampson had been "unfair." She said, "It does seem like a bit of a witch-hunt to bring up something from how many years ago that's already been looked at. It doesn't seem right" (BBC, 9/21).