England fire women's football coach
LONDON (AP) - The coach of the England women's team was fired yesterday over "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" involving his relationship with players in his previous job.
Mark Sampson, who led England to third place at the 2015 World Cup, was dismissed after the Football Association leadership became aware of the full extent of an investigation into his conduct at Bristol's Women's Super League club. The British government said the case raised "very serious questions" about the FA's recruitment process.
Sampson left Bristol in 2013 to take charge of England, and the first allegations against the coach surfaced within his opening months as an FA employee. The FA said that a "safeguarding assessment" in 2015 before the World Cup determined that Sampson "did not pose a risk working in the game" but he was still told to undertake a programme to "emphasise the professional boundaries appropriate to a coaching role."
The FA said the report "revealed clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach." The governing body did not provide specifics of the claims against Sampson from his time at Bristol Academy, which was renamed Bristol City Women's Football Club in 2015.
Benzema to stay with Real until 2021
MADRID (AP) - Real Madrid says it has extended the contract of Karim Benzema until the end of the 2021 season.
The French striker's current contract was valid until the end of the 2019 campaign.
Spanish media says Benzema's buyout clause will remain at one billion euros (US$1.2 billion), similar to Cristiano Ronaldo's clause.
The 29-year-old Benzema has been playing with Madrid since 2009. He will be 33 if he stays until the end of his new contract.