London (AFP) – West Ham United on Friday sacked their director of player recruitment Tony Henry after investigating allegations that he made racist comments about African players.
“West Ham United have today terminated the contract of Director of Player Recruitment, Tony Henry, with immediate effect following his unacceptable comments that were widely reported in the press,” West Ham said in a written statement.
“Our action follows a full and thorough investigation. West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination.
“The West Ham United family is an inclusive one where, regardless of gender, age, ability, race, religion or sexual orientation, everybody feels welcome and included.”
The Daily Mail had reported that Henry said the Hammers wanted to limit the number of African players because “they have a bad attitude” and “cause mayhem” when they are not in the team.
Henry, it was claimed, suggested it was a policy supported by club management but insisted West Ham had “nothing against the African race at all”.
The Mail reported that Henry sent an email on January 27, in response to an inquiry about a footballer of Cameroonian descent, to another senior West Ham official and an agent.
In the email, Henry allegedly wrote: “We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough.”
When asked by the Mail why that was the case, Henry reportedly highlighted “problems” with their former striker Diafra Sakho, who left West Ham to join French club Rennes on Monday.
“We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem,” he allegedly said.
Henry reportedly denied he was being discriminatory and highlighted Senegal’s Cheikhou Kouyate as “a great player for us”.
Kouyate posted a picture of himself on Instagram on Thursday morning with the caption “African and proud”.
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