West Ham United’s head of recruitment has been embroiled in a racism row after claims he said African players “cause mayhem”.
Hammer’s transfer chief Tony Henry reportedly sent out an email explaining that the club don’t want any more players from the continent this transfer window.
West Ham currently have seven African players on their books – although Ghana’s Andre Ayew left for Swansea today.
Henry is said to have sent the message on January 27 after an inquiry about a Cameroonian footballer.
The Daily Mail, who claim to have a leaked copy of the email, say it was sent to another West Ham official and an agent.
In the email, Henry reportedly wrote: “We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough.
When confronted by the paper on whether there was any policy towards African players Mr. Henry originally said “no.”
However, when pushed he is reported to have said: “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.”
He then reportedly said he didn’t believe that view was discriminatory towards African players.
The paper then quote him as saying: “I just find with Russian players that they don’t settle in England. How many Italians come and settle in England? As a club we are not discriminatory at all.”
Other African players at the club include Cheikhou Kouyate (Senegal), Pedro Obiang (Equatorial Guinea), Joao Mario (Angola), Angelo Ogbonna (Nigeria), Arthur Masuaku (DR Congo) and Edimilson Fernandes (Cape Verde).
A statement released by West Ham to Mail Online 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, recognized 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.”