‘I should have played a more active role to ensure they were handled more respectfully’: Ex-England women’s boss Mark Sampson apologises to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence for racially discriminatory comments
- Ex-England boss Mark Sampson apologised to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence
- The ex-women’s manager said sorry for past racially discriminatory comments
- Sampson received a pay-out by the FA last week for being unfairly dismissed
- He said: ‘I don’t think the players’ complaints were handled with humility’
The former England women’s manager, Mark Sampson, has apologised to players Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence for comments judged to be racially discriminatory and said that they should been treated with more ‘humility.’
Sampson, 36, last week received a substantial financial pay-out from the Football Association, in what was acknowledgement that he had been unfairly dismissed at the height of the Aluko controversy.
The Welshman said he will always regret a failure by ‘a lot of people’ to deal with the players’ complaints more effectively.
Mark Sampson has apologised to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence for past racial comments
He told The Times: ‘When players made complaints, they needed to be handled with the respect they deserved. I don’t think it was handled with the humility that it should have been by a lot of people. I certainly should have played a much more active role to ensure they were handled more respectfully. That’s a big regret I will always have.
‘I believed strongly that the way the team worked, if I had said something that offended anyone it would have been brought up at the time. I was wrong. Ultimately, two players were offended by language I used. For that I apologise to Drew and Eni unreservedly.’
Sampson was vilified in some quarters, and grew a beard as part of a disguise after his dismissal by the FA over a relationship he had with an 18-year-old reserve team player while manager of the Bristol Ladies’ team.
In 2014, an FA safeguarding panel which had investigated the relationship but concluded Sampson did not pose any risk.
Sampson said he’ll always regret a failure to deal with the players’ complaints more effectively
Sampson said that he has met Lord Herman Ouseley, chairman of the Kick it Out organisation, at the House of Lords, to discuss his own conduct.
He has ventured back into football in the past 12 months – working as an opposition scout within the lower leagues for friends in the game and working on a coaching license.
His options seem to include re-entering the game in men’s football management. Contrary to suggestions, he was not considered for the Birmingham Ladies’ job, which was on Monday given to the former Chile and Peru manager Marta Tejedor.
He was vilified after his dismissal over his relationship with an 18-year-old reserve player