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Aluko 'disappointed' by lack of support from players - FCNaija

International Edition By: Ambrose Udeme | 09/11/2017

England player of Nigerian descent Eniola Aluko is "disappointed and surprised" England players have not supported her stance after former national boss Mark Sampson was found to have used racially discriminatory remarks.

After three inquiries, Sampson was found to have used discriminatory language to two players - Aluko and Drew Spence. The Football Association has since apologised for its handling of the case, adding there was "much to learn from this episode".

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The 30-year old striker has won 102 caps and lost her place in the team after making allegations of bullying in a 2016 FA cultural review, which were unproven.

She says she has had no communication from her international team-mates, except for those she plays with at Chelsea.

And she believes England players may "benefit" from improvements to the Football Association's grievance process resulting from the case.

Aluko has previously criticised the England players for running over to celebrate a goal with Sampson during their World Cup qualifier against Russia, which proved to be the 35-year-old's last game in charge.

She told BBC Sport: "Would there have been a different response if homophobic statements were made to players? I think there would be.

"Some of this is just a lack of appreciation of what racism is. A lot of this is, 'it hasn't happened to me, I can't relate to that, so I'm not going to comment'. That, to me, can't be a team.

"I've got to be able to put myself in your shoes and say, 'even though I can't understand what it may feel like, I'm going to try and understand and I'm going to support you regardless'. That is a team.

"So a lot of the stuff moving forward needs to be perhaps diversity training, collective conversations, difficult conversations. A lot has to happen, but we can look at other examples around the world and say we can do much better."

Aluko's case, which first came to light when details of her grievance and settlement were leaked to a newspaper in August, has asked many questions of the FA, and chairman Greg Clarke admitted the organisation had "lost the trust of the public".
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