Here’s what happened!
Sometime around August, Chelsea and England striker, Eni Aluko, accused her former coach and England women manager, Mark Sampson, of racism and bullying, an allegation that saw him get sacked.
Since then it has becomed one of the biggest scandals in England football this year! The scandal has opened up both Sampson and the FA to intense criticism.
The FA investigated the matter and paid Aluko £80,000 to let the case go and keep quiet, with the governing body insisting that the coach’s sack was in no relation to those allegations.
Aluko started speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee a couple of minutes after the Football Association released their apology at 2.30pm on Wednesday afternoon.
The Committee were also told by FA chief executive officer, Glenn that Coach Sampson is considering a wrongful dismissal claim and received a pay-off of nine months’ salary.
During her evidence, Aluko was asked for details of Payment
of £80,000 in two tranches and how Glenn said the second part would be withheld unless she wrote a statement saying the FA was not racist.
Aluko said that the FA wanted to withhold the second part of the payment until after this summer’s European Championship in Holland, where Aluko worked as a pundit for Channel 4.
Aluko told the committee: ‘I had one meeting with Martin Glenn and he said if I wrote a statement that the Football Association is not institutionally racist, they would release the [second part of the] payment.
‘I believed that bordered on blackmail. I categorically refused to write any statement. It is not for me to say that the FA is not institutionally racist.
‘For Martin Glenn to say I should say that in order to get a payment I was contractually agreed to is appalling.
‘So for Glenn to suggest that I should say the FA is no institutionally racist to get a payment I had already agreed to is another example of how it [this issue] has been handled badly.
‘I was being asked to do something that I would not have ordinarily agreed to for a payment that was already agreed.
‘The FA claimed I was defamatory in a tweet I sent and they felt they were legally entitled to withhold the payment. I disagree with that.
‘They were keen for me to speak freely about the case. I have spoken factually about my views on how this case was handled and Sampson’s behaviour.’
Asked during his evidence whether the payment would be made immediately, Glenn replied: ‘We’ll reflect on it.’
Glenn denied asking Aluko to write the statement regarding FA racism. He says they wanted her to correct a tweet critical of the FA posted on August 30.
She tweeted: ‘At least we now know the FA’s stance on derogatory racial remarks by an England manager. Ignore, deny, endorse. In that order.’
FA chairman later made matters worse by dismissing the claims of institutional racism as ‘fluff’, promoting outrage from the panel. He swiftly apologised for his choice of words.
But when asked if he would turn around and apologise to Aluko in person at the end of the hearing, Clarke declined, saying he would rather meet with her at a later date.
Aluko’s England team-mate Lianne Sanderson also gave evidence to the Committee and said: ‘We want change. We don’t want this to happen to anyone again, say no to racism’.
Later the DCMS Committee questioned Glenn, Clarke, FA technical director Dan Ashworth and FA human resources director Rachel Brace.
Glenn said it was ‘the end of a long day and it came out all wrong.’
After being informed that to select the barrister in this manner would be unlawful, Glenn said: ‘If it was, I apologise.’