Sports minister Tracey Crouch believes the Football Association should hire England women’s striker Eni Aluko to improve the governing body’s relationships with their players following the Mark Sampson controversy.
“In my view, they should take Eni Aluko up on her offer to help the FA with those reforms. I think she would be a great asset in terms of helping drive cultural change,” she said.
Crouch was speaking to a British parliamentary committee a month after Aluko appeared before the same panel to discuss why she made a bullying and discrimination allegation against former England women’s manager Sampson.
Sampson was twice cleared following investigations into Aluko’s allegations, only to be forced to step down following fresh allegations of an inappropriate relationship with female players during his time at Bristol Academy.
Crouch was asked by the panel if she believes the FA “is fit for purpose” and whether chairman Greg Clarke and chief executive Martin Glenn are the right people to lead the organisation after they came in for criticism over their handling of the incident.
She said the FA must now show it takes its duty of care to athletes seriously, has a robust grievance procedure in place and fixes its “culture, from the top down”.
Having been asked several times if Clarke and Glenn should still be in their jobs, Crouch said: “It’s not for the minister of state to say whether or not a chair or chief executive of a governing body should or should not be in place…because if I can fire them, I can hire them.
“We criticise countries like China and Russia for the closeness their governments have with their sports organisations and it’s not my job to say a chair or chief executive should or should not be fired.”
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