She is the poster girl for women’s football who made Match of the Day history by becoming the first female pundit to appear on the show.
And as well as being top scorer in the league last season she can boast 33 goals for England in 102 caps.
But Eni Aluko has now become embroiled in a row with the FA after she claimed she had to quit the national team because of bullying.
Aluko has not played for England since April last year, blaming staff who would ‘undermine and belittle’ players.
The FA conducted an internal review and an independent investigation into the allegations which found no wrong-doing by England manager Mark Sampson or his staff.
However, after the investigation was concluded in March this year, the FA still gave the 30-year-old forward a new £20,000 contract, despite her saying she was not available to play ‘under his [Sampson’s] management’
On top of that she was given an extra £40,000 and asked to sign a confidentiality agreement – though the FA claims that was to ‘avoid disruption to the [2017 European Championship] tournament,’ not to ‘prevent disclosure’.
Aluko was the top scorer in the league last season and has bagged 33 goals for England in 102 caps
Aluko has only said publicly that she believes team selections were made on the basis of ‘popularity’ rather than form. But in her eight-page complaint she detailed two years of ‘bullying and harassment’, claiming her treatment had forced her to quit.
In her submission, seen by the Daily Mail, she gave seven specific accounts in what is described as a ‘non-exhaustive’ list. She also claimed ‘other England players, past and present’ had suffered ‘negative personal experiences’.
The striker said unfavourable treatment from FA staff began in February 2014, a month after Sampson was appointed head coach.
She said that in video analysis from one match, a coach on the touchline says: ‘Her [Aluko’s] fitness results are good,’ to which another one replies: ‘Yeah but she is lazy as f***.’ Both were wearing microphones. In another instance, the complaint said a coach could be heard saying: ‘F*** off Eni’ after she lost possession. The replay analysis is said to have been available to all players.
She concluded she could not play for the Lionesses again while Sampson was in charge, but the Mail understands she still retains ambitions of adding to her 102 caps.
‘I am concerned that this culture of behaviour could be extended to current players or England players in the future.’
Aluko was not part of the squad which reached the semi-finals of the European Championships last week before they were knocked out by hosts Holland, instead working as part of Channel 4’s commentary team.
A star of the London 2012 Olympics GB side, she was last year’s top scorer in the Women’s Super League for Chelsea and was named in the Professional Footballers’ Association women’s Team of the Year.
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