Eniola Aluko has forgiven Mark Sampson after England Women bullying allegations
"If I were to meet Mark Sampson tomorrow, I would genuinely wish him well."
By Liam Grace
Last Updated: 28/08/19 10:24am
Eniola Aluko says she has forgiven former boss Mark Sampson after her allegations of racism, harassment and bullying in the Lionesses camp.
Aluko, who earned 102 caps for England Women, and played under Sampson from 2013 to 2016 as he led the team to a third-placed finish at the 2015 World Cup, accused her former manager of the abuse in 2016.
Sampson was fired the following year for "inappropriate and unacceptable behaviour" in a previous coaching role at Bristol Academy after several investigations, and Aluko has not played for England since.
Aluko previously accused the England team of a "selfish" attitude after their public show of support for Sampson following his sacking, but admits she has now moved on from the whole ordeal after writing a new book.
"Mark Sampson was somebody in my life that I had to face," Aluko told Sky Sports News. "He was my coach - a good coach - but unfortunately we did not have an agreement in terms of the culture he set for me and some others.
"If I were to meet Mark Sampson tomorrow, I would genuinely wish him well. In my new book, I talk about being able to move on from situations. Deal with things that hurt you, and forgive the other person.
"Looking them in the eye and saying 'You know what, I had to go through that to get better, to learn' - I made mistakes too. Honestly, I see that he's moved on in his coaching career, and I really wish him all the best.
"Everybody should have an opportunity in life to rectify their mistakes, to learn from their mistakes, to move on and get better. That's what I've done, and that's what I hope he has done as well."
Despite last playing for England in 2016, Aluko has continued her successful club career in Italy after signing for Juventus in 2018 following a six-year stint at Chelsea in the Women's Super League.
"Juventus is an amazing club - a huge club," the 32-year-old added. "After being at Chelsea for six years I was really excited to join. Cristiano Ronaldo joined the day after me. He could have taken me on his plane!
"We won the double in the first year. It's been an amazing experience and I'm learning Italian, I can speak a bit of Italian now too.
"I've not experienced any racism here in a football context. But it's obviously a problem, particularly in the men's game here, and something we need to rectify and deal with across Europe."
Eniola Aluko was speaking on Sky Sports News ahead of the launch of her new book They Don't Teach This, which is available to buy from Thursday 29 August, 2019.