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Former England Women's manager Sampson charged over alleged racist comment

21:05 GMT 20/11/2019
Mark Sampson Stevenage 2019-20
The current Stevenage boss has until December 6 to dispute the charges relating to alleged 'improper and/or abusive' comments

Former England Women's manager Mark Sampson has been charged by the Football Association (FA) for allegedly using racist language.

Sampson is now caretaker boss at League Two side Stevenage and is alleged to have breached FA Rule E3, relating to a comment that was "improper and/or abusive and/or insulting".

It is claimed to be an "aggravated breach", meaning it referenced "ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality".

Stevenage undertook an internal investigation in September after "allegations of racially discriminatory language" were reported in the media.

The club said the claims, purportedly made by a Stevenage coach dismissed by Sampson, had "no foundation".

However, following the FA's own investigation, Sampson now has until December 6 to respond to the charge.

The Welshman, who led England to the semi-finals of the 2015 Women's World Cup, was sacked as the Lionesses boss in September 2017.

The FA said it had made the decision after evidence emerged of "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" during his time with Bristol Academy.

It insisted Sampson's dismissal was not linked to allegations made by former England forward Eniola Aluko that there had been alleged discriminatory behaviour on the manager's part.

Stevenage chief executive Phil Wallace said in September that the club would look closely into the allegations. 

“Like every professional club, no matter where the complaint comes from, we follow strict procedures, which were followed to the letter," Wallace said. 

“The claimant was offered the chance to make a formal complaint but declined this opportunity, instead choosing to call the FA. Nevertheless, CEO Alex Tunbridge acted immediately to interview and take statements from two individuals the claimant said were witnesses, as well as others that were present in the same meeting, but not mentioned by the claimant.”

Sampson was appointed caretaker manafer of Stevenage in September after the sacking of Dino Maamria with the club currently sitting last in League Two. 

The Barmy Army have won just two of their first 17 league games and have scored a league-low 12 goals to date. 

Stevenage finished 10th in the division last season and they've now got their work cut out to avoid relegation this campaign.