West Ham suspend recruitment chief amid racism allegations

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West Ham United have suspended their Director of Player Recruitment Tony Henry and have launched a “full and thorough investigation” into allegations that their recruitment process for first team players was racist and discriminatory in nature.

According to the Daily Mail, Henry allegedly sent a message to other West Ham officials and a player agent regarding a player of Cameroonian descent which said “we don’t want any more Africans” and added to the Mail that when players from Africa were “not in the team they cause mayhem.”

Henry then pointed to Diafra Sakho‘s situation as an example, with the Senegal international wanting to leave in the previous two transfer windows and finally getting his wish earlier this week with a move to Rennes.

According to the Daily Mail, Henry also praised West Ham’s Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate who is one of six current members of their team of African descent, including Pedro Obiang, Joao Mario, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku and Edimilson Fernandes.

He added that: “It’s nothing against the African race at all.”

West Ham released the following statement about his suspension:

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.

Sakho has since posted the following message on social media claiming that West Ham “don’t want black players” at the club.