England Women's Team Meets With PFA To Discuss Mark Sampson, Eni Aluko Fallout
Members of the England women’s team have met with the Professional Footballers' Association to discuss the sacking of their former manager, Mark Sampson, and the "controversy surrounding allegations" made by teammate Eni Aluko, who was "again passed over for selection for the national side," according to Luke Edwards of the London TELEGRAPH. The players are considering releasing a joint statement to "address several concerns they have as a group." The meeting was held in Manchester and was attended by players based in the north of England, "with those in the south passing on observations." A source close to the talks said that the meeting took place on Monday and that "it was to discuss the Aluko affair." The Chelsea striker was left out of the England squad by interim Manager Mo Marley on Tuesday ahead of its forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia and Kazakhstan (TELEGRAPH, 11/14).
BRING HER IN: In London, Sean Ingle reported U.K. Sports Minister Tracey Crouch urged the FA to take up Aluko's offer to help it reform after agreeing its reputation had been "tarnished" by the way Aluko was treated. Crouch also warned the FA that it had to "quickly learn lessons" from the case and that the necessary changes to its culture had to come "right from the top." However, she "stopped short of saying the FA was not fit for purpose," and gave her "qualified backing" to "under-fire" Chair Greg Clarke, who she insisted was on a journey to improve the organization. Crouch said, "The FA handled the Eni Aluko case really badly. It was a mess and it has quite rightly taken the shine off the work the FA has done to reform. A cultural shift takes time. Eni Aluko has said that she wants to be part of that change. I hope they listen to her. I think she has a lot to offer. She would be a great asset in driving those culture reforms" (GUARDIAN, 11/14).