English Premier League side West Ham United have suspended their director of player recruitment Tony Henry after a reported racial outburst against African players.
Henry found himself in the eye of a storm after he sent out an email on January 27 explaining that the club don’t want to sign players from the continent this transfer window because they “cause mayhem”.
The London club reacted swiftly to the rather shocking development, saying they do not condone discrimination of any kind.
A club statement read: “The Club can confirm that Director of Player Recruitment Tony Henry has been suspended pending a full and thorough investigation. 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.”
West Ham currently have six senior players of African origin on their books, including Nigerian-born Italian international Angelo Ogbonna and new loanee Joao Mario, a Portuguese international of Angolan origin who moved from Inter Milan in January.
In the email Henry sent to another West Ham official and an agent, he reportedly wrote: “We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough,” over a potential recruit.
When confronted on the claim, he said it had nothing to do with racism.
“It’s nothing racist at all. It’s just sometimes they can have a bad attitude.
“We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem. It’s nothing against the African race at all.
“It’s just sometimes they cause a lot of problems when they are not playing, as we had with Diafra (Sakho). He’s left, so great. It’s nothing personal at all.”
Senegal striker Sakho last week left the club to join French side Rennes, while Ghanaian Andre Ayew rejoined Swansea.