FA executives face parliamentary inquiry over Mark Sampson racism allegations

Eniola Aluko
FA bosses will face a parliamentary inquiry in October after racism allegations by female footballer Eniola Aluko, it has been announced.

The Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee will investigate the allegations against England manager Mark Sampson, of which the FA ‘found no wrongdoing’.

Eni Aluko, who bought the accusations of bullying and racism to the FA’s attention, and England forward Lianne Sanderson will both be invited to give evidence.

An internal investigation by barrister Katharine Newton found no wrong-doing on Sampson’s part following Chelsea footballer Aluko’s complaint of bullying and harassment, which included racism allegations.

Despite this, Sportsmail announced in August that the Football Association paid Aluko £80,000 to avoid the case reaching a tribunal.

However, since then fresh allegations have been made against Sampson, including evidence of the England manager contradicting himself during an interview.

Inconsistencies in Sampson’s account have surfaced when he stated on three separate occasions he could not recall any conversation with Eni Aluko in which they had discussed the Ebola virus.

Aluko recalled the following conversation to The Guardian in August, regarding whether Aluko had any family coming to see her play a match in Germany:

I said I had family coming over from Nigeria. ‘Oh,’ he said. ‘Nigeria? Make sure they don’t bring Ebola with them.

Sampson initially said he could not recall any previous conversations involving the topic of Ebola, but in a different statement, Sampson said:

She [Aluko] told me a story that she had once been called by a cold caller, who called her ‘Ebola’ instead of ‘Eniola’.

Even when this evidence was put forward to Sampson, he replied: “I can’t remember a specific conversation.”

Only when pressed further did Sampson say: “What I made clear in relation to what you’re discussing here was an incident where Eni raised a situation with the team and a group of people.”

Lianne Sanderson, a teammate of Aluko, has backed Eniola’s allegations from the start, and called for a proper investigation into the claims:

“How do you come to a conclusion without interviewing the witnesses? And I wasn’t interviewed as a witness because they didn’t even tell me what it was about.”

Aluko has not added to her 102 England caps since making her allegations as part of an FA inquiry into its management culture in 2016.
Sampson said last week that his “conscience is clear” over the inquiry.

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