Mark Sampson charged by FA over alleged racist abuse

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STEVENAGE, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17: Stevenage manager Mark Sampson looks on during the Sky Bet League Two match between Stevenage and Northampton Town at The Lamex Stadium on September 17, 2019 in Stevenage, England. (Photo by Pete Norton/Getty Images)
Mark Sampson has been charged by the FA. (Credit: Getty Images)

Former Lionesses head coach Mark Sampson has been charged over alleged racist abuse and “aggravated breach” of conduct by the FA.

Currently the caretaker manager at Stevenage, Sampson is being charged with a breach of FA Rule E3 after allegedly making a comment deemed improper and/or abusive and/or insulting. The comment made by Sampson is being investigated as a reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality.

According to the Daily Mail, during a discussion over transfer targets, Sampson discouraged the idea of signing a Nigerian defender because of his ethnicity.

This is not the first time the 47-year-old has been charged with alleged racist abuse. During his tenure as England Women’s boss, he was found to have made “ill-judged attempts at humour” towards Eni Aluko and Drew Spence.

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ROTHERHAM, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Eniola Aluko of England during the UEFA Women's European Qualifier between England and Belgium at The New York Stadium on April 8, 2016 in Rotherham, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)
Eniola Aluko submitted bullying complaints (Credit: Getty Images)

Aluko, one of England’s most recognised players, raised a bullying and harassment complaint to the FA in 2017 following comments made by Sampson. The forward was reported to have received “hush-money” in the sum of £80,000 by the FA in order to “avoid disruption” ahead of the Women’s European Championships that year.

The ex-Chelsea player, who amassed 102 caps for England, expanded on her accounts with Sampson’s offensive comments. Aluko told the ex-manager that her family would be flying over from Nigeria to watch England take on Germany in an international friendly in 2014.

“Oh? Nigeria?” Sampson responded. “Make sure they don’t bring Ebola with them.”

England manager Mark Sampson during the UEFA Women's Euro 2017 match at the De Grolsch Veste, Enschede. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Sampson was sacked by England Women (Credit: Getty Images)

Sampson was dismissed from his role with the Lionesses and raised an unfair dismissal case against the FA. The case settled in his favour earlier this year with the FA commenting that it would “bring the dispute to an agreed close.”

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After being sacked as the England manager, Sampson went on a six-week racial awareness course run by anti-racism charity Kick It Out.

“The way the whole situation was handled I’ll forever regret,” Sampson told The Times. “As a white male I needed to do more and I’ve worked hard to educate myself.

“I spent six weeks with Kick It Out on their educational course for equality and diversity. I need to play a more active role in making a difference. It’s something I will do for the rest of my life.”

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: No room for racism displayed on the big screen during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
An anti-racism sign during a Premier League match between Arsenal and Crystal Palace. (Getty Images)

The current case has been reopened after Stevenage originally said the allegations “had no foundation” following an internal investigation.

Sampson took interim charge of the League Two club in September after Dino Maamria was sacked. The Boro sit rock-bottom of the league table on 13 points, earning their first two wins of the season under Sampson’s lead who has said he wants to be with the club “for a long time.”

Sampson has been given until December 6 to provide a response to the FA charge.

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