Former goalkeeper David James has criticised Chelsea and England striker Eniola Aluko for making allegations of racism and bullying against Mark Sampson after he was sacked as England Women’s manager by the Football Association on Wednesday.
Sampson was dismissed following a tip-off regarding allegations made against him during his previous role with Bristol Academy, where he worked as first team coach and was also responsible for the 16 to 19 year-olds programme. The FA confirmed that Sampson was sacked for an “unprofessional” relationship with his players, although the governing body were informed of the allegations in 2014, with FA chief executive officer Martin Glenn only viewing the details of the case last week before making the decision with chairman Greg Clarke and the FA board to dismiss Sampson.
The scandal has opened up both Sampson and the FA to intense criticism, particularly as Sampson was allowed to continue in the role following allegations of racism and bullying made by Aluko last year. The FA investigated the matter and paid 102-cap international £80,000 as “hush money”, with the governing body insisting that Sampson’s departure this week was in no relation to those allegations.
Mark Sampson’s England career
Sampson will struggle to rebuild his reputation following the shameful exit, but former England goalkeeper James leapt to his defence on Wednesday night and suggested that Aluko has fabricated the allegations because she wasn’t good enough to be in his squad.
Aluko represented her country over 100 times (Getty)
“Mark Sampson sacked as @England women’s manager?! Seems some wasted talent can’t deal with the fact they aren’t good enough! #enialuko,” James wrote on Twitter.
“Basically, Mark Sampson is being told, ‘even though you may have changed, you are being F**KED because of your past’. #b******s.”
James’ claims unsurprisingly attracted criticism from other social media users, and when asked how the Women’s Super League’s top goalscorer last season is not good enough for the international team, James responded that Aluko is a “poor international player, not a ‘team’ player”.
Mark Sampson sacked as England Women’s manager
FA CEO Glenn made the decision after reading a 2015…