English FA apologises to Eniola Aluko

The FA has apologised to two players after new evidence showed sacked England’s women’s boss Mark Sampson made remarks which were “discriminatory on the grounds of race”.

An independent barrister ruled Sampson made unacceptable “ill-judged attempts at humour” on two occasions, to Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence.

Katharine Newton said despite this, she did not believe he is racist.

She also concluded Aluko was not subjected to “a course of bullying”.

Newton’s initial report, completed in March, had cleared Sampson, but the new evidence led to her investigation being resumed.

And a report of the reopened investigation, which says Sampson had difficulty judging boundaries around banter, was released as FA bosses and Aluko faced a parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday.

The Chelsea striker said she felt “relieved” about the new report, adding: “It suggests it was kind of all worth it going through the trouble and having it vindicated.”

FA chief executive Martin Glenn said Sampson, who was paid nine months’ salary on his departure, may proceed with a wrongful dismissal claim.

He was sacked as England women’s boss last month after evidence of “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour with female players in a previous role.

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