West Ham’s former head of player recruitment Tony Henry has been charged with misconduct by the Football Association over comments he made about African players earlier this year.
Henry was suspended by the Hammers before being sacked in February after he was accused of racism and discrimination for allegedly telling agents the Premier League club did not want to sign any more African players.
The Daily Mail reported he had said in an email that West Ham wanted to limit the number of African players because they “sometimes have a bad attitude” and “cause mayhem” when they are not in the team.
Those comments were deemed “unacceptable” by the club, while the Professional Footballers’ Association said it was “shocked” by the report, and now the FA has charged Henry.
“Tony Henry, former West Ham United FC head of player recruitment, has been charged with misconduct in relation to comments he made
which are alleged to be improper and/or insulting and/or abusive,” said an FA statement.
“It is further alleged that this breach of Rule E3(1) is an ”aggravated breach“ as defined in Rule E3(2), as it included reference to ethnic origin and/or race and/or nationality and/or colour. Mr Henry has until May 15, 2018 to respond to the charge.”
West Ham have six first-team squad members of African descent with Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang, Joao Mario, Angelo Ogbonna, Arthur Masuaku and Edimilson Fernandes.
Senegal striker Diafra Sakho left the club in the January transfer window to join Rennes, with Ghana international Andre Ayew heading to Swansea.
West Ham released a statement at the time of Henry’s sacking which read: “West Ham 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.”