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A CHARGE against Stevenage first-team coach Mark Sampson that he made a racist remark during a club meeting has been found not proven.
The former England coach was charged with misconduct by the Football Association in November over the alleged incident.
But a hearing held earlier this month found the charge not proven and dismissed it, the FA said in an announcement on its official website.
A statement from Stevenage chairman Phil Wallace backed Sampson, saying it “was obvious to us after a very thorough investigation of the facts four months ago and I am pleased that the panel’s 17 pages of findings issued today concur with our own internal investigation conducted in September.”
In the commission’s written reasons, it was disclosed that former Stevenage manager Dino Maamria and former goalkeeping coach Ali Uzunhasanoglu alleged Sampson had said “a black Nigerian centre-back, you can’t rely on them” in a meeting over a new recruit.
Sampson denied making the alleged remark, while analyst Rob Smith and fitness coach Jon Ashton, who were also in the meeting, both said they had no recollection of hearing it.
In its reasons for finding the charge not proven, the commission wrote: “The Commission did not find the evidence of any one of those who attended the meeting compelling, or sufficiently compelling, to allow the Commission to be confident that they could properly base a judgement upon it.
“This was not a case where it could sensibly be said that a witness had somehow been mistaken about what had, or had not, been said at the relevant time. Put simply, some of those giving evidence had lied.
“It is clear that misplaced loyalty and a willingness to be untruthful was an inescapable part of this case. Collusion of evidence, one way or another, was unattractively at play in this case.”
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