Striker – who remains centrally contracted – made a series of allegations to The FA about Lionesses boss in a complaint last year
ENI ALUKO has accused England manager Mark Sampson of making a “racist” ebola comment about her Nigerian relatives.
The striker made a series of allegations to the FA last year in a complaint about the behaviour of the Lionesses boss.
Sampson was cleared of racial discrimination, bullying and harassment by an independent inquiry commissioned by the governing body.
Aluko reportedly received a five-figure sum in an agreement to avoid disruption to England’s recent Women’s Euro 2017 preparations.
The FA insisted this “mutual resolution” was not to prevent disclosure and that Aluko, who is still on a central contract, was free to speak publicly.
Aluko, 30, told the BBC: “In 2014 we had a big game against Germany. It was at Wembley and we had a big list of friends and family who would be coming to the game.
“I found myself next to Mark Sampson next to the board.
“He asked me, ‘Who’s coming to watch the game for you?’
“I said, ‘I’ve got family flying in from Nigeria’. And he said, ‘Make sure they don’t come over with Ebola’.”
“I laughed because I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say.
“Now I’ve been part of many dressing rooms.
“I’m used to industrial language, used to sometimes a bit of banter, a bit of a joke – but that was about my family coming to a game, and at the time, ebola was a sensitive thing.
“He made that comment, and I have evidence of telling another player that it happened at the time.
“This evidence has been submitted to the Football Association. They chose to ignore it.”
Asked if she believed it was a racist comment, Aluko replied: “Yes, I believe it was. I believe it was an unfavourable comment made to me that made me feel completely shocked and intimidated, that was said to me because I’m of African descent.
“I don’t know anybody else in the team who has been asked to make sure their family do not come over with ebola.”
The FA insist that all of Aluko’s grievances were taken very seriously.
Chelsea star Aluko won 102 caps and scored 33 goals for England before falling out of favour last year.
In an interview with the Guardian, she recalled a meeting with Sampson at Chelsea’s training ground when she was told about being dropped by England because of “unlioness behaviour”.
Aluko added: “I had been assured it was a confidential report and that my name would be anonymised so I could speak freely. I don’t think it (being dropped) is a coincidence. I believe it was retaliation.
“I had played for England for 11 years and, within a week or so of speaking to the FA to participate in the culture review, I had been dropped from the squad for the first time in my career.”
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