British Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has said the sacking of England women’s football manager Mark Sampson "raises very serious questions" about the appropriateness of the sport's national governing body’s historic processes for coach recruitment ©GOV.UK

British Sports Minister Tracey Crouch has said the sacking of England women's football manager Mark Sampson, following evidence of "inappropriate and unacceptable" behaviour with female players in a previous role, "raises very serious questions".

The Football Association (FA) says it was made aware last week of the complete details of safeguarding allegations made against Welshman Sampson in 2014.

These related to his time as manager of English top-flight side Bristol Academy, who are now known as Bristol City Women.

It comes two years after an FA assessment found that Sampson, who became England head coach in December 2013 after leaving Bristol, did not pose a risk.

"This situation is a mess and raises very serious questions about whether the historic processes that the FA had in place around the recruitment of coaches were appropriate, for something like this to have been missed," Crouch said in a statement.

"The FA are right to have taken action but reassurance is needed to make sure this does not happen again at any level of coaching."

Sampson, 34, signed a new contract last year to remain in the job until 2019.

His contract has been paid up in full by the FA.

"The full report of that [2014] investigation was only brought to the attention of the current FA leadership last week," the FA said in a statement.

"It is our judgement that it revealed clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach.

"It is on this basis that we have acted quickly to agree a termination of Mark's contract."

Mark Sampson was sacked as England's women's manager ©Getty Images
Mark Sampson was sacked as England's women's manager ©Getty Images

Following the FA's decision, Women In Sport announced that Sampson had been dropped as a patron of the charity.

A spokesman for Bristol Academy said: "In 2014 the club was made aware of the FA's investigation into allegations surrounding Mark Sampson.

"Bristol Academy Women co-operated fully with that investigation, which found that Mark Sampson did not pose a safeguarding risk working in the game.

"The club has had no further contact from the FA on this subject in the intervening years."

Sampson was cleared of wrongdoing earlier this year following discrimination allegations made by England players, including forward Eniola Aluko.

His last match in charge saw England beat Russia 6-0 on Tuesday (September 19) in a qualifier for the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup in France.

Sampson led England to a third-place finish at the 2015 World Cup in Canada and the semi-finals of the 2017 UEFA Women’s European Championships in The Netherlands.

They lost to Japan in the penultimate round of the World Cup and hosts Holland at the European Championships.