On Monday, Eni Aluko spoke up about her alleged racial discrimination at the hands of England manager, Mark Sampson.
Since the FA’s investigation into the incidents brought to light by Aluko, in which she accused Sampson of racial prejudice and bullying, and subsequent £80k pay-out to encourage a ‘mutual resolution’, the England striker has come out with two big interviews with the BBC and Guardian.
In her interview with the BBC, Aluko speaks of an alleged incident that happened back in 2014, in which Sampson warned her Nigerian family not to bring over ebola.
“In 2014 we had a big game against Germany. It was at Wembley and we had a big list of friends and family who would be coming to the game. I found myself next to Mark Sampson next to the board,” she said.
“He asked me, ‘Who’s coming to watch the game for you?’ I said, ‘I’ve got family flying in from Nigeria’. And he said, ‘Make sure they don’t come over with ebola’.”
When asked whether she’d challenged Sampson at the time, Aluko admits she didn’t, saying, “I laughed because I was in shock. I didn’t know what to say.
“Now I’ve been part of many dressing rooms. I’m used to industrial language, used to sometimes a bit of banter, a bit of a joke – but that was about my family coming to a game, and at the time ebola was a sensitive thing.
“He [Sampson] made that comment, and I have evidence of telling another player that it happened at the time.
“This evidence has been submitted to the Football Association. They chose to ignore it.”
Asked if she believed it was a racist comment, Aluko replied: “Yes, I believe it was. I believe it was an unfavourable comment made to me that made me feel completely shocked and intimidated, that was said to me because I’m of African descent.
“I don’t know anybody else in the team who has been asked to make sure their family do not come over with ebola.”
WATCH My @BBCNews at 10 report on Eni Aluko in her 1st TV interview on "discrimination, bullying & victimisation" in the England camp pic.twitter.com/OTjbuRiy5j
— Dan Roan (@danroan) August 22, 2017
Aluko is visibly upset talking about the alleged incident.
While the FA didn’t find Sampson guilty of any wrong-doing during their investigation, in which 30-year-old Aluko believed her evidence was confidential, there’s no doubt that the organisation has a lot of explaining to do.
Aluko previously spoke about other comments made by Sampson, which didn’t sit right with her and contributed to her claim against the England manager. However, these weren’t supposed to be for public consumption.
The Chelsea striker said that Sampson used comments that carried “derogatory, racial and prejudicial connotations” in 2015.
This is getting uglier and uglier.