It’s already been a while since the big scandal hit the women’s national team of England. It seemed like everyone forgot about it, but now…
It seems it’s back. In the form of an apology.
Former England Women’s coach Mark Sampson has finally apologized to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence, for the remarks he made to both players while he was in charge of the national team.
Sampson was sacked by the Football Association two years ago, in September 2017, following his allegations for “inappropriate and unacceptable behavior” in his previous role as manager at Bristol Academy.
Mark Sampson, who has not worked since his dismissal, gave an interview to the Times on Monday, 21st January, regretting how he handled the accusations by both England players.
“I answered based on my recollections and what I felt was true to my character and the way I use language,” he said.
“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 the language I used. For that, I apologize to Drew and Eni unreservedly.
“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.”
The Welsh coach was appointed England manager in 2013 and led the team to the semi-finals of the World Cup in Canada two years later. They lost that game but finished third by beating Germany 1-0 after extra time.
Two years later, at the European Championship in the Netherlands, England won their group and beat France in the quarter-finals before losing to the hosts in the semi-finals.
Sampson was still in charge as England started their World Cup qualifying campaign for this summer’s tournament in France, but, in the end, he left the day after a 6-0 victory against Russia in September 2017, after the scandal reached its peak.
Finally, he added: “As a white male I needed to do more and I’ve worked hard to educate myself. I reached out to Lord Ouseley (of Kick it Out) and, very honorably, he invited me into the Houses of Parliament for a coffee. We had a really positive conversation.
“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.”
Anyways, it seems it’s all have been going well for The Lionesses, after Phil Neville was appointed as Sampson’s successor in January 2018, leading the team to the World Cup in France, which starts on 7 June 2019. We’ll need to wait and see how they perform, but it’s for sure, they won’t give a bad show.