PFA chief wades into racism row around England boss

Date published: Saturday 16th September 2017 11:49

A new lawyer should be appointed to lead a fresh inquiry into racism claims against England Women coach Mark Sampson, according to players’ union boss Gordon Taylor.

It is alleged that Sampson made racist remarks to Eni Aluko and Drew Spence – allegations which Sampson strenuously denies.

He was cleared of wrongdoing in two investigations, but Spence was not interviewed as part of an independent inquiry led by barrister Katharine Newton.

The Football Association has confirmed to Press Association Sport that new information has been passed on to Newton for further investigation. The Guardian reports that this includes a statement from Spence and text messages sent between England players at the time that the remark directed at Spence was allegedly made.

But Taylor, the chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association, believes it is not enough for Newton to just look at new evidence and called for a fresh investigation by another lawyer.

He told BBC Sport: “If new evidence appears then it’s fair to everyone concerned if it’s looked at with a fresh pair of eyes.

“It’s incumbent to look at this with an experienced lawyer in discrimination, agreed by both sides. It needs an objective view.

“There needs to be confidence in the system that when someone raises a grievance, there is a clear and objective process, otherwise no-one will say anything in the future for fear of jeopardising their career.”

It is alleged that Sampson told Aluko to be careful that her relatives did not bring Ebola with them to a game at Wembley, while it is claimed he asked mixed-race player Spence during the China Cup how many times she had been arrested, despite her never having been arrested.

A Commons select committee hearing is reportedly planned for next month, which would see senior FA executives face a parliamentary inquiry over the investigations into Aluko’s claims.

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