Accept Aluko's offer to help with reforms, sports minister tells FA
The Football Association should accept England forward Eniola Aluko’s offer to help with its reforms, says sports minister Tracey Crouch.
Former England manager Mark Sampson was found to have used discriminatory language to Aluko and team-mate Drew Spence following three inquiries. The FA has since apologised.
“Eni would be a great asset in helping drive cultural change,” said Crouch.
The minister also said the FA must fix its culture “from the top down”.
Crouch was speaking to the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport committee a month after Aluko appeared in front of the same panel to describe her experience of raising a bullying and discrimination complaint against Sampson.
Aluko, who has won 102 caps, lost her place in the team after making unproven allegations of bullying in a 2016 FA cultural review.
In a BBC Sport interview last week, she said she was “open” to being part of the reform process at the FA.
Crouch said that the FA’s handling of the case had been “a mess” and “a sorry saga”.
However, when asked whether chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn should leave the organisation, she said: “It’s not for the minister of state to say whether or not a chair or chief executive of a governing body should or should not be in place… because if I can fire them, I can hire them.
“We criticise countries like China and Russia for the closeness their governments have with their sports organisations and it’s not my job to say a chair or chief executive should or should not be fired.”
Sampson was sacked in September following evidence of “inappropriate and unacceptable” behaviour with female players in a previous role.