Former England Women head coach Mark Sampson was being investigated for intimidating a female UEFA official with a metal pole at the 2017 European Championship before he was fired. UEFA says its disciplinary panel banned Sampson for three games on 21 September 2017. That was the day after the English FA fired him for "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" in a separate case focusing on relations with female players in a previous job.
Sampson was banned for "insulting, aggressive and insistent actions", including profane abuse, after England's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the semi-finals in August. UEFA says Sampson's language and attitude "grossly violated the basic rules of decent conduct and his behaviour was insulting". Sampson provided statements to UEFA on 1 September 2017 about the incidents after England's 3-0 loss to the Netherlands in the semifinals on 3 August 2017. The UEFA documents included multiple expletives. They say that in the 60th minute, Sampson was verbally abusive to the UEFA venue director, telling her: "You better sit down, you little shit!" Sampson was then accused of confronting the referee liaison officer Fijke Hoogendijk: "After the game, the referee liaison officer was standing outside the referee changing room when Sampson shouted aggressively at her: 'You're a fucking disgrace, it's a fucking shame.' He then picked up a metal pillar raising it above his head aggressively before throwing it down hard against the floor, shutting the door to the corridor, saying: 'I'm going to close the fucking door in your fucking face.' Fijke was concerned he was going to strike her. She felt intimidated and offended by his actions”. UEFA said the FA had accepted the charges against Sampson, who apologised for his behaviour. "The language he used and his attitude grossly violated the basic rules of decent conduct and his behavior was insulting", UEFA said. "It is without hesitation a cause of sorrow that persons deployed at matches who have no relation to the football performance of the teams are attacked in such an aggressive manner by team's officials", the panel said. "Even accepting the statements of the coach in full it can't be permitted that UEFA officials like the venue director and the referee liaison officer endure the aggressive manners of others present at the match, let alone the head coach of one of the teams".
In October 2017, the FA concluded its own investigation into Sampson's conduct while he was coaching the team and found that he had directed racially discriminating remarks at two of his players. Sampson, who led the team to the 2015 Women's World Cup semi-finals, was replaced as England coach by former Manchester United player Phil Neville.