Former Charlton Assistant Senda banned from football for four years
Written by Training Ground Guru — January 9, 2024
FORMER Charlton Assistant Manager Danny Senda has been banned from football for four years after touching two women inappropriately and making offensive comments to them during a Football Association coaching course last June.
The incidents happened in an overseas bar and included the 42-year-old putting his hand down the front of one of the women’s shorts. An independent FA commission said Senda’s breaches were of “the utmost seriousness” and that they amounted to “criminal offences that could never be condoned or tolerated in any environment”.
When interviewed by the FA last July, Senda said he had no recollection of committing the offences, due to his consumption of alcohol, but did not deny them. A six-year ban was initially deemed appropriate by the commission, but this was reduced to four years to reflect Senda’s early admission of the charges.
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.”
Senda was appointed Charlton Assistant last May, having previously been Under-18 and U21 Lead at the club. However, he lost his job when Holden was sacked as manager in August.
In its report, the independent commission states that Senda was in a bar when the two women entered along with a small group of other people. The first complainant said Senda had pulled her towards him, placed his left arm over her right shoulder and put his other hand down the front of her shorts.
When she pushed Senda away and confronted him, he responded: “You’re fucking coming back to my room.”
The woman, who described herself as “shocked and stunned”, moved away from Senda and received support from colleagues. She then saw him approach the second complainant and place his hands on her breasts. The report states that he said words to the effect of “you’re coming back to mine tonight”, but the woman moved away and followed the first complainant out of the bar.
In both cases, the commission described Senda’s behaviour as a “criminal sexual assault”. The women opted not to make a criminal complaint - and because the incident happened overseas, the UK authorities would not have had jurisdiction to act.
The women reported the incidents to course leaders, which led to Senda being asked to leave the course immediately, which he did. He requested the opportunity to apologise and the women did meet him before he flew back to the UK.
The first complainant said she told Senda she had never been made to feel as bad as he had made her feel in her entire career. She had felt the need to earn the respect of her male counterparts on the course and believed she had done so, she said. When the women returned to the UK, they then made a formal complaint to the FA.
Both complainants told the commission they had felt concerns about the impact that reporting the incident might have on her future career prospects. The first complainant also said she felt there were still issues for women in football in many areas of the game.