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Volume 6 No. 266
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U.K. House Of Commons To Examine FA's Handling Of Mark Sampson Case

Women's football in England "is about to find itself in uncharted territory" and the FA is being warned that "no more mistakes can be made," according to Leo Spall of ESPN.com. The "sorry saga" surrounding the sacking of former England women's team Manager Mark Sampson will see its ability to govern "examined by a House of Commons select committee" on Wednesday. How the FA "deals with issues of bullying, racism, whistleblowing, safeguarding, employment vetting, and internal inquiry procedures" are all "likely to be discussed." Within weeks, the FA will also have its "first solid indications of how fruitful its push toward a full-time, professional league is likely to be." There is a Nov. 10 deadline for club license applications at the top of a "restructured game which is due to launch next year." The fact that both issues "gained widespread attention at the same time" -- the announcement for the latter came "in the middle of the furore" around Sampson -- "has been dismissed by the FA as coincidental, but the combination appears to have left the governing body at a watershed moment." Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out CEO Roisin Wood said, "They need to get it right now." Kick It Out has supported Chelsea Ladies striker Eni Aluko in her "racism and bullying" claim against Sampson. Wood: "There has to be real transparency around this case, a real look at the whistleblowing culture and really strong things in place to let players come forward, share what they think and not have that in any way impact their careers" (ESPN.com, 10/16).