Sport

Andy Woodward 'hurt' by FA chairman Greg Clarke's comments

Andy Woodward 'hurt' by FA chairman Greg Clarke's comments”

Last week, FA chief executive Martin Glenn apologised to stars Eniola Aluko and Drew Spence for discriminatory comments made to them by Sampson. We, like every other sports national governing body, did not have whistleblowing procedures in place to protect them and give them the protection to air their grievances. Clarke has also stated that the FA has "lost the trust of the public" over the case.

Clarke, along with other senior officials, appeared before the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport in what he described on Thursday as "a bruising personal experience" and a damaging one for the FA.

Clarke backed this up by stating that according to their own insight tracking, just 27% of football fans think the FA are a competent governing body.

"I feel extremely hurt", said Woodward, who added that while he did break down in front of two FA staff members in the meeting, Clarke was not even in the room at the time.

Andy Woodward, whose revelations last November of the sex abuse he suffered as a youngster whilst at Crewe Alexandra inspired several other former professional footballers with similar experiences to come forward, told several British newspapers he had been very upset by Clarke describing him last week as "having cried like a baby" when he held a confidential meeting with the Football Association (FA) chairperson regarding the allegations previous year.

The chairman judged that the FA had "lost the trust of the public" and pinned the causes down to three characteristics of the organisation.

To illustrate this, he pointed out that only one of the "10 or 11" members present was a woman and none were from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background.

He said: "But I'm completely sick of being ignored by them".

"All they could see was a white hierarchy who had no experience of what it feels like to be a black person on the receiving end of inappropriate comments".

"It is inconceivable that the people who botched the first investigation are still in their posts".

He added: "The FA must reflect on the dilemma it now faces as a result of last week's shambolic exposure of its leadership, competence and discriminatory treatment of black and minority ethnic people".

Aluko later revealed she reported to the FA that Sampson also told her to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola to a match.

Newton said the Welshman's comments were "discriminatory on the grounds of race" within the meaning of the Equality Act 2010 and that Sampson seemed to have difficulty judging the appropriate boundaries when engaging in "banter" with the players.

However, she said she did not believe he is racist and said Aluko was not subjected to "a course of bullying".



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