West Ham fires director of recruitment for 'unacceptable comments' about African players

Feb. 3 (UPI) — Premier League club West Ham United fired director of player recruitment Tony Henry following unacceptable comments he made regarding African players.

The club announced the firing in a statement on Friday.

“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,” West Ham said in the statement.

“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.”

West Ham suspended Henry indefinitely on Thursday, citing the claims of discrimination. The Daily Mail reported earlier this week that Henry sent an email to an agent and a West Ham official stating that the team didn’t want more African players.

West Ham battles Brighton at 10 a.m. Saturday in a Premier League matchup at Falmer Stadium in Brighton.

On Friday, West Ham manager David Moyes denied the claims that the club would not sign African players.

“Well, the comments are wrong,” Moyes told reporters. “We were signing two players from Africa on deadline day so I can only say they’re wrong.”

“Of course we have an open transfer policy. You can see the players the Club have signed over the years. We sign good, quality players, the best players we can get, and it doesn’t matter where they are from to me, at all.”

“Never, ever, in all my time in football have I ever had [a prejudiced transfer policy], at all.”

“I spoke with one or two of the African players and they seem fine. They’ve trained well over the last couple of days and morale in the camp is good because we’re on the back of a pretty good run where the players are doing really well, so we want to keep it going.”

The East London club currently sits at 12th in the Premier League standings.

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