Former footballer Daniel Senda has been banned from the game for four years after he sexually assaulted two women while on a coaching course.
The Football Association said it was “deeply sorry” to the women, who were on an overseas course in June 2023.
Senda, 42, who was Charlton Athletic assistant manager at the time and made more than 400 appearances for Wycombe and Millwall as a player, has apologised but maintains he has no recollection of the incidents, which took place in a bar.
The women did not report the incidents to police and, because they took place overseas, UK authorities had no jurisdiction to take action.
An FA spokesperson said: “Women deserve to be involved in professional football without the fear of any form of abuse. This was a shocking case, and we investigated the very serious allegations as soon as we were made aware of them.
“We thank the victims for reporting the incidents to us, and supporting the investigation through to its conclusion, and we are deeply sorry that they endured such a terrible experience.
“The behaviour shown by Daniel Senda in June 2023 will not be tolerated. We will investigate all allegations of sexual assault in a football environment which are reported to us – usually working with the police, but in this case, the incidents happened overseas so were not within the jurisdiction of UK law enforcement.
“We hope that the very lengthy ban serves as a strong deterrent, and a clear signal that women in football will be supported and protected and offenders will be severely punished.”
In written reasons released on Tuesday, the FA’s regulatory commission panel said that while socialising in a bar with other course participants, Senda touched both women in an intimate area in separate incidents.
The women reported the incidents to course leaders the following day and Senda was asked to leave the event. Before flying home, he requested to meet the women and apologise, which one complainant said she felt “railroaded” into attending.
After being charged by the FA, Senda said in an interview that although he had no recollection of committing the offences – which he attributed to his alcohol consumption – he did not deny them.
The FA panel said Senda “perpetrated a criminal, sexual assault” on both women, and viewed his drunkenness as an aggravating factor.
In its written reasons, the panel added: “Both [women] report a sense of guilt for reporting the matter and a concern about the effects of reporting on their own future career prospects.
“Finally, there is a fear of how they will be perceived by others, even though they have done nothing. The entire process left one woman feeling she had ‘never been made to feel as bad in her entire career’.”
The panel initially wanted to give Senda a six-year ban but it was reduced to four to reflect his early admission and apology.
Senda also played for Torquay United, Bristol Rovers and Barnet during his career and was assistant head coach at Leyton Orient from July 2020 to June 2021.
He left Charlton in August after the sacking of head coach Dean Holden.
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