Former England Manager Mark Sampson Has Been Charged With Racist Abuse By The FA

Mark Sampson managed the team for four years, during which time he dropped Eniola Aluko after she accused him of racism.

Mark Sampson

by Georgia Aspinall |
Updated on

Mark Sampson, the former England women’s manager, has been charged with using racist language by the Football Association. The 37-year old has a littered history of inappropriate behaviour, once accused of racism towards former England player Eniola Aluko back in 2016 when she was subsequently dropped from the team.

‘Mark Sampson has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E3,’ the Football Association’s statement read. ‘It is alleged that a comment made by [Sampson]… was improper and/or abusive and/or insulting. It is further alleged that the comment also constitutes an “aggravated breach”…as it referenced ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality.’

The complaint was made by a coach that worked with, and was sacked by, Sampson. Currently, Sampson holds a managerial position at Stevenage F.C. According to the FA’s statement, he has until the 6th of December to respond to the charge.

Sampson was previously the England women’s manager, however was sacked in 2017 when evidence was found of ‘inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach’ during his time at another club, Bristol Academy, where he was placed from 2009-2013.

However, his tenure at England women’s was also littered with controversy. In 2016, Eniola Aluko was asked to take part in a culture review by the FA during which she made allegations of bullying and victimisation about Sampson. She was dropped from the team that same month.

Following a series of reviews and allegations, which saw Aluko make 20 allegations against both Sampson and the FA - Sampson was eventually found guilty of making two racially discriminatory remarks.

The FA paid out £80,000 to Aluko in October 2017, which they had been withholding from her since her unfair dismissal claim. Aluko was also open about the lack of support from her teammates, who publicly supported Sampson on a number of occasions. Most notably, when her former team ran to hug Sampson in a huge and rare display of support after a 6-0 win against Russia – a video that is currently circulating again on social media following his charges.

‘I remember sitting in my car, crying my eyes out,’ she told The Telegraph earlier this year. ‘I was deeply, deeply upset. It wasn’t so much the celebration as the timing that I thought was shocking. Celebrations are calculated. I don’t believe this was spontaneous. It was premeditated.

‘That’s the part I worry about, because that means the team have decided, “we’re going with the line that Eni Aluko is not one of us”’ she continued. ‘In a context of me calling out racism, they were effectively saying, “we don’t care”. That’s what it represented to me.’

She says they were being told she was a liar and believed it despite the fact her teammate Drew Spence also reported Sampson for racism - after an initial FA investigation cleared Sampson of wrong-doing.

In response to today’s charge, Aluko has simply tweeted the bible reference ‘Isaiah 54:17’, which reads as ‘no weapon that is formed against you shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall condemn.’

However, she has reiterated she does not want her legacy to centre on this experience. As such, she published a book called They don’t Teach This which documents her experience as a female football player and her struggle to embrace her British-Nigerian identity. Hopefully now, she will find some solace in Sampson finally being held to some account.

Read More:

Jealousy, Intimidation And Bare-Faced Sexism: How The FA Kept Women Out Of Football For Fifty Years

Here's Why Everyone Is Talking About The New Manager Of England’s Women’s Football Team

Racist Bullying Goes On In Women's Football Too, Says England Player

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us