Group Created with Sketch.
Volume 10 No. 24

International Football

Mark Sampson is "considering bringing a wrongful dismissal case against the FA after his sudden sacking" as England women’s head coach last Wednesday, according to Hughes & Ziegler of the LONDON TIMES. The FA’s board will meet on Monday "for talks on the Sampson crisis and will have to face the prospect of a legal claim." Sampson is understood to "feel aggrieved" at losing his job over personal matters that led to him being cleared as "suitable for the post" after an investigation by the FA’s Safeguarding Unit two years ago, and as a result "believes that he has a strong legal case." He "fears that his career in football is effectively over" at the age of 34 after he was sacked for what the FA described in a statement on Wednesday as “inappropriate and unacceptable” behavior with female players in his previous role as coach of Bristol Academy. The Welshman is considering legal action "in the hope of obtaining compensation and rehabilitating his reputation" (LONDON TIMES, 9/23). 

'AMAZING JOB': The PA reported FA Women's Football Head Sue Campbell has "given her backing" to FA CEO Martin Glenn over the sacking of Sampson. Glenn and FA Chair Greg Clarke are "under fierce scrutiny over why it took so long to sack the 34-year-old" in relation to allegations which were first reported to the FA in '14. FA execs will appear before the Digital, Culture, Media & Sport Committee next month "to face questions about the matter." But Campbell insisted Glenn, who was appointed CEO in March '15, "should not lose his job." She said, "We at the FA have lessons to learn but I believe Martin is doing an amazing job turning round a super tanker. He is an outstanding chief executive and he has handled this with complete integrity in terms of the process. This has not been comfortable for anybody, we need to respect there is some human pain in all this for everybody. It’s a tough situation" (PA, 9/24).

First Division matches in the League of Ireland are attracting up to €650,000 ($776,815) "in bets on global exchanges," an inquiry into alleged match-fixing has been told, according to Mark Tighe of the SUNDAY TIMES. While First Division games attract average crowds of less than 500, they are "attracting huge interest from overseas gamblers, mainly in Asia." Details of the "vast sums being wagered" on second-tier Irish football were revealed at the FA of Ireland’s internal disciplinary hearing into two Athlone Town players who have been banned for 12 months for match fixing. Games in the Premier Division and First Division of the league are being streamed on int'l betting websites following a '15 deal between the FAI and Trackchamp. The four-year contract is said to be worth €120,000 ($143,412) a year. The Irish Premier Division attracts an average of €2.5M ($3M) in bets per match, "while the average attendance was just under 1,500 per game last season." By contrast, a Premier League match in England attracts an average of €203M ($243M) in wagers, while a Pro14 rugby game attracts €1.2M ($1.4M). A Gaelic Athletic Association match would draw just €50,000 ($59,755) "in bets globally per game because of low understanding of the rules." Evidence about betting on Irish league games "was given to the disciplinary hearing by Sportradar." Sportradar Communications Dir Alex Inglot said, "It stands to reason that if you start offering streams and coverage on a global level, where it wasn’t global before, then you will see more engagement in that sport, and that will be heavily tied to interests in betting. If you have a stream to view a sport, you feel more engaged in it and more likely to bet" (SUNDAY TIMES, 9/24).

Kenya has been "stripped of the right to host the 2018 African Nations Championship" following a Confederation of African Football exec committee meeting in Accra, Ghana. CAF said that the decision was made "in light of accumulated delays from reports of the various inspection missions conducted in the country." The 16-team tournament is scheduled to take place from Jan. 12-Feb 4 (BBC, 9/24).

The Sierra Leone FA banned 19 officials for life on Thursday for violating SLFA and FIFA statutes "concerning taking football related cases to civil courts." The group went to court last month to seek an injunction to stop the current exec running the SLFA (BBC, 9/22).

FIFA and the local organizing committee for the 2018 U20 Women's World Cup unveiled the official emblem of the competition in Rennes, France. The tournament will take place in the Brittany region of France from August 5-24, 2018, and its official emblem reflects the strong history and values of the Breton culture. It features a triskele motif echoing the area's Celtic past and black and white stripes representing the Breton flag (FIFA).

South Korea's professional football players' association, FIFPro Korea, said that it is now officially an incorporated association following the Ministry of Culture, Sports & Tourism's authorization, which "allows the organization to register assets and manage its operations systemically." It added that it will "pursue various programs to help players, including finding jobs for retired players, protecting footballers' portrait rights and fighting club mistreatment of players" (YONHAP, 9/22).

The Uruguayan FA (AUF) cancelled all scheduled matches on Sunday after the country's referees "decided they would refuse to officiate further due to increasing violence." The decision means the cancellation of five first division matches "as well as others at lower levels" (RTÉ, 9/24).