Thursday, 1 February 2018

These are very serious accusations about West Ham's policy on signing African players.

These are very serious accusations about West Ham's policy on signing African players.

-West Ham director of player recruitment Tony Henry has been suspended "pending a full and  thorough investigation'' over claims he said the club would not sign any more African players, the  Premier League side have announced.

-West Ham launched an investigation into claims that, according to the Daily Mail, Henry said the  Premier League club 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.''

A statement from West Ham on Thursday morning read: "West Ham United will not tolerate any type of discrimination and has, therefore, acted swiftly due to the serious nature of these claims.

"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 club will make no further comment until the investigation has been concluded.''

In a statement given to the Daily Mail on Wednesday night, the club had said: "West Ham United is an inclusive, respectful and diverse football club. Equality is at the heart of our ethos and values.

"We were recently given the opportunity to demonstrate the extent of our firm commitment to these values, which are embedded throughout the club, with a view to achieving the intermediate level of the Premier League's equality mark, recognised and supported by Kick it Out.

"We have worked extremely hard over the last 18 months across all areas of the club and we are confident in our achievements. All West Ham United employees are required to go on equality, diversity and unconscious-bias training as part of our new mandatory training and workforce plan.

"We take any allegations of discrimination extremely seriously and are now in the process of ascertaining the full facts behind this accusation.''

The newspaper reported that Henry sent an email on Jan. 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 [Africans] are not in the team they cause mayhem. It's nothing against the African race at all," Henry told the Mail.

"I mean, look, there are top African players. There's not a problem with them. It's just sometimes they cause a lot of problems when they are not playing, as we had with Diafra.

"He's left, so great. It's nothing personal at all.''

Asked then if he thought his comments amounted to a slight on African players, Henry apparently replied "no'' and praised the efforts of West Ham's Senegal midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate.

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