The Football Association have issued an apology to Chelsea’s Eni Aluko and Drew Spence, after Mark Sampson was found guilty of making discriminatory remarks while in charge of England Women.

The statement from the FA comes after new evidence was submitted by barrister Katharine Newton, which found Sampson to be guilty of making two remarks aimed at Aluko and Spence.

His comments to the players were described as “ill-judged attempts at humour, discriminatory on grounds of race,” in the statement.

Aluko accused Sampson of making a racially insensitive remark about her Nigerian family during a training session with England, and also cited an incident involving Spence and a comment about how many times she had been arrested – despite her having never been arrested.

After two investigations, Sampson was deemed in the clear, and said himself that he had nothing to hide and could not recall ever making the remark. As a result, this turn of events caps a highly embarrassing summer for the Football Association.

Questions will now be asked why it took three investigations to get to this verdict and why Sampson denied ever saying such comments to the players. It’s a victory for Aluko and Spence, but the FA will have a rough number of weeks dealing with the fallout.

There have been calls for Dan Ashworth, over his role in the investigation, to be sacked. Chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn also face pressure to exit their positions.