Eniola Aluko and Lianne Sanderson to give evidence to investigation into the FA and Mark Sampson

Jason Burt
The Telegraph

Eniola Aluko and Lianne Sanderson will give evidence to the investigation by MPs into the allegations of racism and bullying made against the now former England women’s head coach Mark Sampson.

The pair have accepted the invitations extended to them by the Select Committee for Culture, Media and Sport which will also question Football Association executives at next month’s hearing.

Among those under scrutiny is FA chief executive Martin Glenn whose judgment is in question after Sampson was sacked last week after it emerged he was the subject of unspecified “inappropriate misconduct” in a previous job at the Bristol Academy women’s team.

FA technical director Dan Ashworth is also in the spotlight over the role he played in Sampson’s appointment and his tenure with England.

The FA maintain that Sampson is innocent and has been cleared of any wrongdoing in the Aluko case – after she alleged she was bullied and harassed – and that his dismissal was for a wholly separate issue but the MPs are taking evidence as part of an overall inquiry into sports governance.

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Mark Sampson was sacked as manager of the women's national team last weekCredit: GETTY IMAGES
Mark Sampson was sacked as manager of the women's national team last weekCredit: GETTY IMAGES

Sanderson has also spoken out in support of Aluko and criticised the way the England’s women’s team is organised.

The DCMS committee said it will gather information on how the FA carries out internal investigations, and will ask whether the FA has acted adequately when faced with internal complaints. The committee will also consider whether the FA’s current governance structures and the attitudes of senior officials enable players to report instances of abuse.

MP Damian Collins, who chairs the committee, said: “Following the sacking of the England Women’s coach, Mark Sampson, the Football Association must explain why it took so long to look into issues raised about the coach’s past. Why was he appointed in the first place? Why didn’t senior officials refer back to this information when a player stepped forward with serious allegations? Players have a reasonable right to expect their concerns will be taken seriously. The Committee will ask why senior leadership at the FA failed to act without prompting from external organisations. This raises serious questions about their capacity to run internal investigations.”

The hearing will take place on Oct 18. The FA is holding a scheduled board meeting on Monday at which the handling of the Sampson case and the future of women’s football is being discussed.

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