Beds, Herts & Bucks

Mark Sampson: Police investigate alleged threats to ex-England women's boss

Mark Sampson Image copyright Mike Egerton/PA Media
Image caption Mark Sampson was appointed caretaker manager of Stevenage on Monday

Police are investigating threatening messages allegedly sent to ex-England women's football boss Mark Sampson on the day he was appointed Stevenage caretaker manager.

Mr Sampson, 36, took interim charge of the League Two club after the sacking of Dino Maamria on Monday.

Mr Sampson is alleged to have received the messages "via telephone and Whatsapp" and told police on Tuesday.

Hertfordshire Police is investigating under the Malicious Communications Act.

Mr Sampson led the England Women's team to a bronze medal at the 2015 Women's World Cup but was sacked in 2017.

The Football Association reached a settlement with Mr Sampson in January after an unfair dismissal case, with the ex-Bristol Academy boss fired following evidence of "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour with female players in a previous role.

Before his dismissal Mr Sampson , who is from Cardiff, had that year been cleared of wrongdoing following discrimination allegations made by England players, including then Chelsea and Lionesses striker Eniola Aluko.

The FA then apologised to Ms Aluko and England team-mate Drew Spence for Mr Sampson's racially discriminatory remarks after an independent barrister ruled he made unacceptable "ill-judged attempts at humour" on two occasions.

It emerged this week the FA is investigating allegations he used racially discriminatory language.

Stevenage said the allegations "have no foundation" but the FA plans to speak to all parties involved to determine the facts before deciding what action to take.

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