Former England women's football manager Mark Sampson guilty of racially abusing Eni Aluko and Drew Spence

FA apologises to two women players after Parliamentary committee finds Mark Sampson made discriminatory remarks

A Parliamentary select committee has been investigating claims against the former England Women's team manager

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Former England women manager Mark Sampson has been found guilty of directing racial abuse at two of his former players.

An independent investigation conducted by barrister Katharine Newton found that Sampson had made discriminatory remarks towards forward Eni Aluko, who is black, and midfielder Drew Spence, who is mixed-race.

Sampson -  who was sacked from his role with England last month following reports of "inappropriate" relationships with female players in a previous job - was found to have told Aluko to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola with them to a match at Wembley.

He also asked Spence, who plays with Aloku at Chelsea, how many times she had been arrested.

Two previous inquiries had found Sampson innocent of making these remarks, but he was found guilty in a report which was published today - before senior FA figures were grilled by Parliament's Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

Newton found that Sampson was not racist himself, but he had, on two occasions, made “ill-judged attempts at humour” on racial grounds towards Aluko and Spence.

In light of these mistakes, Newton made an “express recommendation that he should attend equal opportunities and diversity training as soon as possible”.

Aluko has since been giving evidence to the MPs' committee, which has seen lawmakers grill a number of senior FA officials on why they allowed the abuse to happen. The footballer, who is also a practising sports lawyer - said she felt “vindicated and relieved” at the ruling.

The Football Association has now released an apology to Aluko and Spence, describing Sampson's remarks as “not acceptable."