SAMPSON SACKED BY FA
Hours after overseeing a 6-0 defeat of Russia to kick-off the 2019 World Cup qualifying campaign, England’s Mark Sampson was fired after the Football Association had looked more closely at historic allegations of “inappropriate behaviour” in his previous role at WSL club Bristol Academy (now Bristol City).
Hew was said to have “crossed the boundaries” in relationships with players and the FA determined that, while he had done nothing illegal and was free to work in football, his conduct unbecoming of an England manager.
Sampson was already embroiled in allegations of bullying and racist behaviour made by 102-capped Eniola Aluko, a furore that rumbled on despite two investigations clearing him.
DIACRE TAKES CHARGE
Olivier Echouafni failed to survive France’s premature Euro 2017 exit and was fired 10 days before completing a year as coach. He was replaced by Corinne Diacre, a former international who came to prominence when appointed coach of Clermont Foot, a men’s Ligue 2 club in 2014, a position she held successfully until joining
DISPUTES AND RESOLUTIONS
Denmark cancelled a friendly against Holland in what would have been a repeat of the Euro 2017 Final after the players refused to appear due to a financial dispute with their FA. A temporary deal ensured they did play a subsequent World Cup qualifier in Hungary a few days later, winning 6-1.
Australian players, meanwhile, have secured a new deal for their domestic league which features a significant salary increase, minimum medical standards and a maternity policy
Several cap centurions quit international football after Euro 2017, including Germany’s Anja Mittag (158 caps), England’s Alex Scott (140), Elodie Thomis (141) of France, and Scotland’s Gemma Fay (203), Ifeoma Dieke (122) and Leanne Ross (133).
NEW-LOOK HOLDERS BOOK HOME GAME IN PLAY-OFFS
Carolina Courage – defending the title they won last year in the guise of New York Western Flash – and Portland Thorns earned home games in the NWSL play-off semi-finals, with Chicago Red Stars and Orlando Pride making up the quartet.
Gone...England’s game against Russia was Mark Sampson’s last as manager
Deal...Australian sides Northern Tigers (in stripes) and Blacktown Spartans
Cross...Courage midfielder Makenzy Doniak
National job... Corinne Diacre