Premier league side West Ham United have re-emphasized that the club is open to everyone who loves football irrespective race gender or religion. The emphasis came on the heels of sacking of their former director of recruitment Tony Henry.
The manner in which Henry was shown the door following investigation into his utterances concerning African players the club said further confirms the club’s no room for nonsense disposition. West Ham suspended Henry on Thursday and dismissed him on Friday.
As revealed by Sportsmail, Henry sent at least one email stating West Ham did not want any more African players.
He followed that by explaining it was ‘nothing racist’ and said: ‘It’s just sometimes they can have a bad attitude. We find that when they are not in the team they cause mayhem.’
Unfortunately for Henry he is the only one having such opinion and his opinion does not represent that of the club as the club immediately issued a statement saying “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.
‘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.’
Sportsmail’s exclusive story spread to the West Ham squad over the course of Thursday. Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate posted on his Instagram account: ‘African and proud’.
The post was liked by Manuel Lanzini, Adrian, Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaku, all current West Ham players.
West Ham have six first-team stars who are of African descent. Two of the listed stars —Joao Mario and Angelo Ogbonna — have chosen to represent Portugal and Italy respectively despite being able to play for African countries through their parents. Pedro Obiang played for Spain’s youth teams but has not represented the senior side and could still play for Equatorial Guinea. Edimilson Fernandes plays for Switzerland but is of Cape Verdean descent. Left back Arthur Masuaku is yet to play for DR Congo but received a call-up in August while Cheikhou Kouyate is an experienced international for Senegal.
Henry responded to an inquiry about a footballer of Cameroonian descent with an email on January 27 to another senior West Ham official and an agent.
He wrote: ‘We don’t want any more Africans and he’s not good enough. I sent Thomas to watch him and the other lad last week and he said no. If Palace take them good luck.’
It will be recalled that Nigerian international Victor Moses played for West Ham while on loan from Chelsea from 2015 to 2016.