England star Jill Scott declines chance to back beleaguered boss Mark Sampson

England midfielder Jill Scott said she was “not allowed” to talk about the furore surrounding manager Mark Sampson following the claims that he made racist remarks to two of her team-mates.

The Manchester City star was speaking about her career, which has seen her win 121 caps since her 2006 debut, at the Soccerex Global Convention on Monday.

When asked by reporters if she had any comment to make about the allegations against Sampson, Scott said: “I don’t think we’re allowed to answer questions on it.”

The Football Association, however, told Press Association Sport it has not issued any guidance to the squad on what to say to the media, apart from asking them to wait for its first and only statement to date on the matter, more than a fortnight ago.

That statement said the FA had conducted two investigations into the claims of bullying and discrimination made by Chelsea and England striker Eni Aluko against the 34-year-old Sampson and both had cleared him of any wrongdoing.

The statement, however, also included a comment from Sampson that said he had “taken on board” the recommendations made by independent barrister Katherine Newton that he should improve his “general communication style”.

Sampson has also denied making the two comments Aluko claims he made – one to a mixed-race player during a midfielders’ meeting in 2015 and the other to her about her Nigerian family in 2014.

That, however, did not stop the FA from paying Aluko almost £80,000 shortly before this summer’s European Championships and keeping her on a central contract, despite the fact she has said she will not play under Sampson again.

England, now ranked third in the world, lost in the semi-finals of that tournament and the squad for their next match, the first qualifying game for the 2019 World Cup, will be announced on Tuesday.

With so many unanswered questions about Aluko’s claims, the two investigations into them and the FA settlement, the build-up to that game at Prenton Park on September 19 is bound to be dominated by the saga.

Source: PA


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