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The English FA has apologised to two England women's team players Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence after an internal investigation revealed that their former coach, Mark Sampson made discriminatory remarks towards them.


The FA bosses and Aluko faced a parliamentary inquiry on Wednesday, where former England coach Mark Sampson, 35, was found to have made "ill-judged attempts at humour" when speaking to players Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence.


Recall in August, the Chelsea Ladies star, who is the elder sister of Nigeria striker Sone Aluko, accused Mark Sampson of subjecting herself and her Nigerian family to a ‘racist’ jibe about the Ebola virus. (Read previous post here)


She claimed Sampson made an inappropriate comment about her Nigerian family having Ebola before an England match in 2014.


And Spence, 24, alleged Sampson made remarks about the number of times she had been arrested in a racial light.


The allegations came at a time when Sampson was already under the spotlight for inappropriate behaviour during his time at Bristol Academy, which led to his departure from the national side.


In a statement, FA CEO Martin Glenn said he and his organisation wanted to "sincerely apologise" to Aluko and Spence.


"Based on new evidence submitted to independent barrister Katharine Newton, she has now found that they were both subject to discriminatory remarks made by an FA employee. This is not acceptable," he said.


He admitted there was "much to learn from this episode", that the FA needed a better way to support whistleblowers, and it was "regrettable" Aluko did not take part in Newton's initial investigation to the case.


Katherine Newton, who led the investigation, concluded that Sampson was "not a racist", and that Aluko had not been subjected to prolonged bullying.


Aluko explained she had not participated because she felt the first internal inquiry had been flawed.


At the hearing, MP Julie Elliott asked Glenn if he accepted the FA had failed in its duty of care to players.


Glenn: "We have clearly made mistakes."

Elliott: "You can't say you have failed in your duty of care. I think that speaks of volumes."


Sampson, 35, had earlier been cleared of wrongdoing by the internal inquiry, and Newton's initial report, following discrimination allegations made by England players, including Aluko.


He said his conscience was clear, and denied being a racist.

FA chairman Clarke accepted criticism around the recruitment of Sampson in 2013, saying: "What should have happened was a process of due diligence - which does happen now - but did not happen then."


He said there had been "systemic, historic failings" at the FA and added: "When I took the job, there was one other decent applicant. It's career death. I'm willing to risk my reputation to make it better. If it doesn't get better it's my fault."


Despite Sampson's sacking, Aluko who was dropped out of the England team after she made the allegation, is yet to be recalled by new boss Mo Marley.


Miss Aluko who was the first women’s player to appear as a pundit on Match of the Day, won 102 caps and scored 33 goals for her country, England. She was born in Lagos, Nigeria, but moved with her family to Birmingham in the West Midlands of England when she was a year old.

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