Mark Sampson DID make racist jokes to England women’s stars as FA issue grovelling apology

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THE Football Association has said sorry to two England players after an inquiry concluded they had been subjected to racial remarks by former women’s team boss Mark Sampson.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn made the 11th-hour apology to Chelsea stars Eni Aluko and Drew Spence just before he and fellow bigwigs were due to appear before a committee of MPs.

 An FA inquiry has found Mark Sampson guilty of making racist comments to Eni Aluko and Drew Spenec

PA:Press Association

An FA inquiry has found Mark Sampson guilty of making racist comments to Eni Aluko and Drew Spenec

Barrister Katharine Newton, in her second inquiry and the FA’s THIRD try to investigate Aluko’s complaints of bullying, found Sampson had made discriminatory remarks.

Nigeria-born Aluko had complained that Sampson had made a joke about her family and Ebola before an England game and that he had asked mixed-race Londoner Spence how many times she had been arrested during a team meeting.

Although Sampson denied the allegations, Newton reviewed new evidence and concluded the remarks had been made and were racially discriminatory.

But Newton found Sampson was not racist and dismissed Aluko’s claim that she had been the victim of serial bullying by Sampson.


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 Mark Sampson made a racist joke to Eni Aluko about her family and the Ebola virus

Getty

Mark Sampson made a racist joke to Eni Aluko about her family and the Ebola virus
 Sampson also aimed a joke at Drew Spence about whether she had been arrested

Rex Features

Sampson also aimed a joke at Drew Spence about whether she had been arrested

Aluko, who has won 102 caps, has not played for England since first raising her concerns about Sampson in May 2016.

Glenn said in a statement: “On behalf of The Football Association I would like to sincerely apologise to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence.


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“Based on new evidence submitted to independent barrister Katharine Newton, she has now found that they were both subject to discriminatory remarks made by an FA employee. This is not acceptable.

“In her final report Katharine Newton concluded that on two separate occasions Mark Sampson made ill-judged attempts at humour, which as a matter of law were discriminatory on grounds of race within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010. Katharine Newton did however conclude that Mark Sampson was not racist.

“She also concluded that there was no evidence to support the allegations that Eniola Aluko was subjected to “a course of bullying and discriminatory conduct” by Mark Sampson.

“Our ambition has always been to find the truth and take swift and appropriate action if needed. It was our decision to have the original, second and final investigation to ensure that due diligence was taken.

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“It is regrettable that Eniola did not participate in the first external investigation as this would have enabled Katharine Newton to conduct and complete her investigation sooner.

“We will fully support the recommendations from the report.”

Newton’s new findings were based primarily on speaking to Spence, who had not been interviewed during either of the first two inquiries, and on looking at a WhatsApp exchange between Spence and Aluko after the incident at the China Cup in 2015.

 FA chief executive Martin Glenn issued a grovelling apology to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence

AFP

FA chief executive Martin Glenn issued a grovelling apology to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence

But Glenn, technical director Dan Ashworth, chairman Greg Clarke and HR chief Rachel Brace still face a grilling from MPs this afternoon.

Aluko and former England team-mate Lianne Sanderson will also give evidence as the DCMS Select Committee seeks to get to the bottom of the Aluko case and Sampson’s recent sacking for “inappropriate conduct” in a previous job.

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