Spence believes role in Aluko racism case hindered England chances

‘Phil’s not spoken to me once’: Chelsea midfielder Drew Spence believes her involvement in Eni Aluko, Mark Sampson racism case in 2017 hindered her future England chances

  • Drew Spence believes her England chances were hindered by her involvement  
  • The midfielder was at the centre of the racism investigation into Mark Sampson 
  • The ex-Lionesses manager was found to have made discriminatory comments 
  • The Chelsea star says she’s not had contact with Phil Neville since he took over

Chelsea’s Drew Spence believes she hasn’t been given a chance with England because of her involvement in the Eni Aluko and Mark Sampson racism case in 2017.

Spence became the centre of an investigation when Aluko complained about racially discriminatory remarks made by the then Lionesses manager Sampson.

The FA apologised unreservedly to both players after the case was re-opened and found the coach, who have originally been cleared, had made the comments. 

Drew Spence thinks her involvement in the investigation has hindered her England chances

She was at the centre of Eni Aluko’s complaint against Lionesses’ manager Mark Sampson

Sampson was found to have made racially discriminatory comments towards both players

Sampson had asked Spence, who was the only player of colour in the room, how many times she had been arrested and on a separate occasion had told Aluko to make sure her Nigerian relatives did not bring Ebola with them to Wembley.

The publicity and fall-out from the case put the FA in the spotlight and Spence believes her absence from the England side since is down to her involvement. 

‘Phil’s not spoken to me once,’ she told the Guardian.

England manager Phil Neville has not been in contact with the 27-year-old since taking charge

‘To not be given that chance makes me question: “Is it because of what happened?” I think it is because of what happened, if I’m totally honest.’

The midfielder had originally stayed quiet when Aluko first spoke out but later confirmed her story. 

‘The reason I didn’t speak out straight away was because I was worried. I was stressed at the time. There was a lot going on behind closed doors. 

Spence didn’t speak out until later because she was afraid it would affect her England chances

My main concern was whether it would affect me playing for my country. I’m happy with the decision I took – I didn’t speak out then, it wouldn’t have been right.’ 

Spence has won six trophies with Chelsea and has been an ever-present in Emma Hayes’ side but has failed to force her way into what she admits is a competitive England squad.

The 27-year-old is the Blues’ longest serving player and signed a new two-year contract in March will extend her stay to 13 years.

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