Eni Aluko: Timeline of allegations against Mark Sampson

Eni Aluko talking to the DCMS on Wednesday afternoon
Eni Aluko talking to the DCMS on Wednesday afternoon

Former England women’s manager Mark Sampson made remarks that were “discriminatory on grounds of race” to Eni Aluko, barrister Katharine Newton has concluded in her final report.

It is just over 10 weeks since Aluko’s allegations about her treatment by Sampson – claims he strenuously denies – were first made public.

Here, Press Association Sport looks at the timeline of events since then.

READ MORE: Aluko reveals ‘FA tried to blackmail me over England racism claims’   

READ MORE: Mark Sampson ‘made racist remarks’ as England manager – but was ‘trying to be funny’

‘Bullying and harassment’ reports

August 7: The Daily Mail reveals that Aluko made allegations of bullying and harassment against Sampson and his staff in May 2016. A Football Association investigation concluded in March 2017 and cleared Sampson and his staff of wrongdoing, but Aluko was paid a settlement in a confidentiality agreement, which the FA insisted was to avoid disruption to England’s Euro 2017 campaign.

August 16: Details of an allegation made by Aluko emerge, claiming Sampson made a remark towards another player with “racial and prejudicial connotations”. Sampson is alleged to have made reference to the number of times a player had been arrested.

Sampson’s ‘Ebola’ remarks

August 17: As pressure grows for more details to made public, the Football Association releases a statement from Sampson saying he welcomed the investigation and would be looking to improve his communication skills.

August 21: Aluko speaks publicly on the matter for the first time and alleges Sampson made a racist comment to her ahead of an England game. After telling Sampson she had relatives coming from Nigeria to watch the game, Aluko claims Sampson replied: “Well make sure they don’t come over with Ebola.”

August 22: The Professional Footballers’ Association backs calls for a new investigation into how Aluko’s complaints were handled.


Sampson: ‘My conscience is clear’

September 5: Sampson speaks publicly for the first time about the allegations and says his conscience is clear.

September 11: Damian Collins, chair of the parliamentary culture, media and sport select committee, tells the Guardian the committee is very concerned about the matter and will summon senior executives from the FA to answer questions.

September 12: Sampson appears to contradict evidence he gave to the inquiry when he tells a press conference he cannot recall ever having a conversation about Ebola with Aluko.

‘Disrespect’ towards Aluko

September 19: Every member of the starting XI races to the bench to celebrate with Sampson after Nikita Parris nets opener for England in 6-0 World Cup qualifying win over Russia in Tranmere. The exuberant scenes spark criticism from Aluko, who suggests it was a sign of “disrespect” towards her from within the ranks of the Lionesses.

September 20: The FA sacks Sampson with immediate effect. In a statement the FA says safeguarding allegations were made against Sampson in 2014 relating to his time as Bristol Academy manager. It said the current FA leadership was only made aware of a full report of that investigation the previous week and the report revealed “clear evidence of inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour by a coach”.

October 18: Newton’s final report is made public. Having initially cleared Sampson of bullying and racism, she changes her mind and decides he did twice make “ill-judged attempts at humour, which, as a matter of law, were discriminatory on grounds of race”. The FA apologises to Aluko and team-mate Drew Spence.

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