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  1. FA bosses faced parliamentary inquiry over racism allegations
  2. Eniola Aluko has accused ex-England boss Mark Sampson of discrimination
  3. FA apologises over remarks to Aluko & Drew Spence

Live Reporting

All times stated are UK

And that concludes our coverage of the hearing.

For a full breakdown on what was said, head here.

And here are some of the key clips:

FA chief's request 'bordering on blackmail' - Aluko
I still couldn't tell you what the FA grievance process is
I didn't expect it to be Eni Aluko versus the FA

Hearing summary

  • The FA apologises Eni Aluko and Drew Spence after new evidence shows sacked England's women's boss Mark Sampson made remarks which were "discriminatory on the grounds of race".
  • Aluko said she had not received payment of an £80,000 settlement fee in full from the FA.
  • Aluko accuses the FA of actions "bordering on blackmail", in relation to complaints about bullying and harassment.
  • The Chelsea striker says she had felt "isolated" during the case and says there had been "an agenda to protect Sampson and an agenda to protect the FA's reputation".
  • FA chief exec Martin Glenn says Sampson is considering filing a claim for wrongful dismissal.

And with that, the hearing comes to an end.

Right, I'll pick through the last four hours and provide you with the key points.

The FA execs are questioned about a female linked with Leeds United asking for support with regards to discrimination...

Greg Clarke: "It sounds outrageous. I will find out what is going on."

To fail to act over two discrimination cases is careless, Clarke is told.

Clarke: "Is there sexism in football? Absolutely. Do we have the powers to deal with it? We don't have the power in the FA to overcome statute. I need to give you a reasonable response on our powers and what we could do. Us interfering with legal issues is really hard."

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Sampson considering wrongful dismissal claim

Has Mark Sampson received a pay-off?

Martin Glenn: There is a payment related to his contract, but it is not a 'pay-off' as such.

Rachel Brace: It was in line with his contract. It was nine months' salary.

Glenn: We've been informed by his (Mark Sampson's) solicitor that he's considering filing a claim for wrongful dismissal.

'I will apologise to Eni personally'

More from Greg Clarke: "Now, what I know today, I don't think the process found an effective result quickly enough.

He is then asked if he accepts it was because of mistakes in the FA and it should have been done differently?

"We took too long to get to the right answer because we weren't clear on our procedure and we allowed mistakes to occure.

"I will apologise to Eni personally. What will happen is I will get up, shake her hand and ask to speak to her personally. I will listen to her reflections. I want to engage with her."

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'Go on intentions'

Martin Glenn is asked how satisfied he is with the process:

"I'm trying to inject a sense of balance. We don't only exist to run internal grievance processes. Do I believe the spirit and intent of the people leading the investigation was right? Yes. No-one forced us to get in a separate independent barrister. That factor should be weighed in.

"I think you've got to be proportionate about the nature of the mistakes.

"We're open to learning. We're working with UK Sport to deal with what is clearly an issue in elite sport. Grievance processes that may work for a general organisation aren't fit for purpose in elite sport.

"I would go intentions."

Hearing key points so far

We are three-and-a-half hours into this hearing and these are the key points so far.

  • Eni Aluko says she refused to put out a statement saying the FA was not "institutionally racist" in order to receive part of a settlement fee.
  • FA chief exect Martin Glenn retracts comments suggesting the barrister who conducted the FA's inquiry was chosen based on her ethnicity.
  • Aluko says there has been "an agenda to protect Mark Sampson and an agenda to protect the FA's reputation".
  • Feels "vindicated and relieved" that an investigation concludes Sampson made remarks which were "discriminatory on grounds of race".
  • The Nigeria-born striker accused England goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall of speaking to her in a fake Caribbean accent.

Martin Glenn is asked whether the FA failed in its duty of care:

"There have clearly been failings. I wouldn't want to then say the organisation is failing. Clearly in this situation there have been failings.

We have 900 members of staff. On balance I think we do a good job.

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FA chairman Greg Clarke is criticised for referring to institutional racism as "fluff". He quickly apologies after being chastised by the committee.

"What has established, putting aside all the fluff about, you know, institutional racism, no institutional bullying," he says.

The fact you describe it as fluff speaks volumes," says Julie Elliott MP. "Language matters."

"I accept your point and what I was trying to say, maybe badly, is I could get distracted by the irrelevant," Clarke adds. "I shouldn't have said fluff. I could have come in and said, well Katharine Newton said there's no evidence of systemic bullying, there's no evidence of systemic racism.

"But that's not the issue, that's why I mis-characterised it as fluff. I didn't want to talk about that, what I wanted to talk about was the material issue and I apologise for phrasing it badly. The material issue is twice an England player with 100 caps was exposed to a situation where racist abuse happened. That is a fundamental breach of our duty of care for that person and I feel very bad about that."

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On Eni Aluko being dropped from the England squad.

Dan Ashworth: "The head coach picks the team, not me. The head coaches would pick the team on a variety of issues.

"Who he or she thinks will do the best job for that team going forward. He had been disappointed with recent performances and he dropped a few senior players, including Eni Aluko."

But how can somebody, that successful, be dropped directly after giving evidence. That can't be a coincidence?

Dan Ashworth: "What I would say is Mark would have picked the team on form. Knowing the facts that I do, no it does not seem a coincidence. To the outside world? Yes."

Rachel Brace is asked if she evaluated the FA's review processes upon being appointed in January 2016:

The FA has very good grievances and complaints procedures for its corporate employees. I'd been in the post for five or six months, I found we didn't have anything in place for our national teams. This was something really wanting across elite sport.

I evaluated where we had fallen short as an organisation. One of the things we're doing with UK Sport is we're talking to our players and coaches and saying, 'how does this work for you?' What works in a corporate context doesn't always work in a sporting context.

Was the initial investigation adequate?

It was done in the best way we could. There's some things we could have done better. I do think it was adequate. There are things I would do differently, absolutely. I've learned there's no such thing as an easy grievance procedure. When you're trying to do the best by everybody, you won't always get it right.

We need to be very clear about the 'rules of the road'. In corporate life, people understand you come with a grievance and it's going to be investigated, and not everything is going to be confidential. In a sporting context, people are more focused on information getting to the media. They're worried about what their colleagues think of them, whether they're going to be picked or not.

Would you still say the investigation was adequate?

Based on what I knew at the time, yes.

Julie Elliott MP asks Martin Glenn if he accepts the FA has failed in its duty of care to players.

"We have clearly made mistakes," he replies.

"You can't say you have failed in your duty of care. I think that speaks volumes," says Elliott.

You say 'overwhelming duty of care to victims' - Eni Aluko has been one. Has your organisation given an adequate duty of care?

Greg Clarke: "No. The material issue is that twice, an England player with over 100 caps, was exposed to situations where racial discrimination was used and I feel very bad about that. We have to apologise. We now have facts that our board needs to be aware of and they need to actively consider the decision to pay as part of our duty of care to her."

Julie Elliott MP then states she feels that Aluko must be paid.

'As a safeguarding risk he was investigated and cleared'

Martin Glenn: "Safeguarding rules are universal, they are based on law. The job of the safeguarding team is to judge whether someone poses a risk as a football participant.

"What I am sure about is that as a safeguarding risk he was investigated and cleared. As a conduct issue, we judged his conduct was inappropriate."

Asked about the FA's safeguarding code of practice:

"The problem was the issue was seen in its narrowest form, as a safeguarding issue, not in its wider form. We now do that differently. We've got different people who can take a wider holistic view."

Dan Ashworth says he was aware of the "outline of the allegations" against Mark Sampson, but not the full detail.

"I wasn't shown a report," he says. "I was given an update through the process of the investigation.

"I was told when the panel was concluded and was told there was no risk in his role. I wasn't aware of any detail. They said he would pose no risk in his current role.

It seems odd you could be reassured without having been given knowledge?

Ashworth: "Of course if I had my time again I would have asked for more detail. At the time, I didn't ask for it and wasn't given any.

"I went off the recommendation of the panel."

'Due diligence didn't happen then'

On Mark Sampson hiring as England manager in 2013...

Greg Clarke: "What should have happened was a process of due diligence - which does happen now - but did not happen then.

'We are doing things differently now'

Martin Glenn is asked why it took so long to read the safeguarding report that led to Sampson's dismissal: The report was written in March 2015. The report was a safeguarding report. The standard practice is to maximise confidentiality. The report that was written, I wasn't shown. It wouldn't have been appropriate. I should have been aware there were wider concerns from the report. I hold my hands up. If I'd have known then what I know now, I would have asked.

Rachel Brace: The information was given to me. I won't name the name. As soon as the information was given to me, it made me go back and ask questions.

Glenn: There is a difference between safeguarding, which was done well, and the mess in the FA, which was a failure to look at our employment procedures. We are doing things differently now.

When the employment recommendation was made to me, we acted swiftly.

More from Greg Clarke, speaking about the situation: "How can I feel good when a person here with 100 caps for England, feels badly treated? To me, a whistle-blowing structure needs to make the victim feel protected. She doesn't.

"Rachel is now leading an activity which we hope will achieve what you have asked for. It is a pan-sport problem. We should have cracked this years ago and I didn't realise it was such a problem to be honest."

Martin Glenn is asked about the nature of the financial agreement the FA reached with Eni Aluko:

"The agreement we came to with Eniola was fairly standard," he says. "The agreement was staged in two payments, the first payment was paid."

Glenn is asked if they will be making the final payment.

"We'll reflect on it," he says.

Hearing key points so far

We are two-and-a-half hours into this hearing and these are the key points so far.

  • Eni Aluko says she refused to put out a statement saying the FA was not "institutionally racist" in order to receive part of a settlement fee.
  • FA chief exect Martin Glenn retracts comments suggesting the barrister who conducted the FA's inquiry was chosen based on her ethnicity.
  • Aluko says there has been "an agenda to protect Mark Sampson and an agenda to protect the FA's reputation".
  • Feels "vindicated and relieved" that an investigation concludes Sampson made remarks which were "discriminatory on grounds of race".
  • The Nigeria-born striker accused England goalkeeping coach Lee Kendall of speaking to her in a fake Caribbean accent.

Greg Clarke on PFA governance: "I think the governing is working pretty well. I am seriously engaged in recognising what the historic problems are and how we are going to fix them.

"I will be talking to the PFA. I'd like to be very frank...

"When you look at the performance of the PFA, they have some very good executives. I have fought alongside them and against them. We are trying to address the lack of black managers in the game.

"I have a fundamental problem with their government. I met a number of safeguarding survivors. One met in the meeting in front of two PFA witnesses. I asked if I could help. He said the PFA won't pay for my counseling. They spend millions of pounds on salaries but they are walking away from people like him. I will never respect those governments for walking away from their people."

Martin Glenn is asked about his handling of the safeguarding complaint raised against Sampson when he worked for Bristol, which the FA cited as the reason for his sacking:

"Mark Sampson was hired (as England coach) at the end of 2013, and started in January 2014. In April 2014 we received an anonymous adjudication saying that his conduct at Bristol needed to be investigated. The nature of that complaint triggered a review by our safeguarding team. They concluded that investigation in March 2015. They presented (their findings) to a panel who found that Mark Sampson had to undergo mentoring, which he did in the summer.

"I first heard about it in October 2015. If I'd known then what I know now, I'd have acted on the report. We fired him when we read the full report."

Why didn't you read it at the time?

"It was presented to me by the safeguarding team as a closed case. (After reading it) we concluded that his conduct, not safeguarding, at Bristol was not suitable for an FA employee. We had to terminate his contract."

Rachel Brace: "During the Katharine Newton investigation, I was aware of the distress in the squad. We spoke to another player and Katharine Newton spoke to other players. They suggested different to a culture of fear, to a more positive culture."

Martin Glenn is asked whether he chose barrister Katharine Newton because of her ethnicity, based on comments he made in The Guardian: "When they presented her CV, I thought it was terrific. It was the end of a long day, and it (the comment) came out the wrong way. I did not specify. If it were (unlawful) I apologise. I was pleased with the choice of the independent barrister and the recommendation to undergo the second review.

"What i wanted was a proper independent barrister reviewing what we'd done. What I meant to say was that I was very pleased with the choice of Katharine Newton."

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Greg Clarke explains why he sent a curt reply to an email from the PFA.

"I was trying to get him to stop inadvertently destroying my government's ability to oversee it," he says.

He is asked why not 'advertedly' tell him "go through the proper procedure?"

"The reason I said that in the email was because he kept trying to draw me in and would not stop. All I was trying to do was be abrupt. I did not reply to her, I replied to him."

FA chairman Greg Clarke is speaking now, saying the Sport England code of governance forbade him from getting involved.

"I worked very hard for a year, guided by the minister to adhere to the code of conduct," he says. "The responsibilities are clearly mandated and directed. I was clearly mandated not to get involved as the board would be conflicted. I explained three times that I was forbidden by the Sport England code. When I received that email after those conversations I didn't want him to get me involved. All of the way through this I have tried to stay within my gov. box."

Does that suggest to you that the structure of the FA doesn't know how to deal with these things?

"I have chaired a number of public governments and they are exactly the same. The FA do not that but it was the PFA that were trying to suck me in. In a national governing body, it is different. I am mandated and directed to behave in that way and I did. What I found particularly annoying was the way it was spun in the media yesterday. It made me mildy disappointed was because the people accusing me of this have bad governance. I would do the same thing again. What I maybe should have done was to write the man from the PFA a letter."

'We were respecting wishes'

Rachel Brace continues: "We wanted to keep it tight based on Eniola's wishes. We're talking specifically about the Drew Spence issue. Our understanding was that she did not want to be brought into this. We investigated everything we could. I spoke to Lianne Sanderson.

"We watched the video. There was no evidence in the video. I accepted that Eni had heard something, and she's heard it from Drew. We did the best we could.

"In every grievance you do, you're constrained by who you can speak to. There was a chance that things could get out. We were respecting wishes. My priority was respecting Eniola's wishes."

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Committee chair Damian Collins asks why the investigations did not interview possible witnesses.

"No one approached any of the eyewitnesses to corroborate what was meant to have been said," he says.

"Some might say you're deliberately steering the barrister away from people who might have heard what had been said?"

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Rachel Brace on Drew Spence: "She confirmed she didn't want to be involved, and that she'd only spoken up because she'd been named in the media. She felt her wishes had been respected by the FA. That's what she told me."

Brace is asked about whether the investigation involved eyewitness accounts:

"The players named on the list were those we understood to be happy to come forward.

"My understanding was it was a list of players willing to co-operate. Dan Ashworth put it together. It's an independent investigation. You can only speak to people willing to co-operate."

Watch Aluko answer MPs' questions

I still couldn't tell you what the FA grievance process is

FA Human Resources director Rachel Brace: "We had a second meeting with the PFA and Eni Aluko and we admitted we didn't watch the video. That was an oversight. We didn't give a view on that evidence and we apologised immediately."

Did you speak to any of the other players in the room?

"It's very clear that she (Aluko) feels this incident happened during the meeting. We've watched the video of that meeting. Nothing untoward was said. She didn't want any of this to get out in the media. We were told she didn't want Drew brought into this. We respected those wishes. The comment was said to be made during the meeting, but we later found out it wasn't made in the meeting, it was made in a pre-meeting. We didn't speak to other members of the squad to respect Eniola's wishes."

Martin Glenn is asked about criticisms of the FA's grievance processes:

"I have a different point of view. One of the reasons we asked an independent barrister was for a fresh pair of eyes and I think that was right. We took the allegations seriously, and when that was found to be unsatisfactory in the eyes of the complainant we went further. I think that's good going."

Glenn is pressed on whether the FA responded to Aluko's intemised grievances.

"In the spirit of what she was asking for, she was fully engaged."

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FA chief executive Martin Glenn: "We want to issue a full apology to Drew Spence and Eni Aluko. They were both subjected to discriminatory remarks, which is against the Equality Act and the values of the FA. We have a grievance procedure, but it's clearly fallen short. In terms of a general apology about how we (FA) have handled this, I think we have handled this with decency. I think the FA has taken it very seriously."


That's it from Lianne Sanderson. Being questioned by MPs now are:

  • Martin Glenn, FA chief executive
  • Greg Clarke, FA chairman
  • Dan Ashworth, FA technical director
  • Rachel Brace, FA Human Resources director

'A bigger problem'

Lianne Sanderson hopes this process will lead to a proper structure for people to file grievances to.

"I think there's a lot of bias, a lot of ignorance in that environment," she says. "I think the fact that we've been strong enough to take this where it needs to, hopefully this will now make the FA put in place a structure for people to file grievances so they can be successful.

"You want things to be done properly. Maybe have someone like myself or Eni as part of that process (for filing grievances). Women's football has grown. If you're going to bring more publicity you have to bring more professionalism. Just because this has happened doesn't mean we can't keep progressing."

Why were you two picked on?

Lianne Sanderson continues: "Eni can do anything. Her ability to do other things apart from football is something that separates us.

"I can't say this is why they did this but I think there is a lot of ignorance. We want change. I don't want anyone else to go through what we have been through.

"The sacking of Mark Sampson needed to happen but as we've seen from the evidence, this is a bigger problem. It is not something that we have enjoyed. It didn't need to happen.

"Thankfully we are sat here because we have been able to force their hand as such.

Sanderson tells the committee she hasn't been selected for England since she raised the issue about her 50th cap in 2015.

"I felt like I was succeeding under Mark Sampson at the beginning but when I was doing too well, that was when I felt I started to get taken out of the team," she says.

"Mark and I had a good relationship at the beginning but the way Eni was treated from week one was how I felt I was treated afterwards.

"I'm here to support Eni. I want to tell the truth.

"Mark called me and picked me. I never thought I'd play for England again. I thought they took advantage of that because I was so excited. I was vulnerable and he knew that. The 50th cap for me was a moment that should have been an amazing feeling. It was amazing to get the call back. For that to be taken away from me was the worst feeling in the world."