Former West Ham head of recruitment Tony Henry has been charged by the Football Association over comments he made about African players.

Henry was suspended and then subsequently sacked from his job at the Hammers after he allegedly said African players “cause mayhem” and “sometimes have a bad attitude” and didn’t want to sign any more players from the continent.

At the time of the comments, West Ham had players of African descent including Diafra Sakho, Andre Ayew, Cheikhou Kouyate, Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaku on the books at the club. Sakho and Ayew have since left the club for Rennes and Swansea City respectively.

During the last January transfer window, West Ham were interested in signing two African players, Algerian Islam Slimani and Cameroon-born Ibrahim Amadou but both fell through on deadline day.

At the time, Lord Ouseley – chairperson of Kick It Out – described an email sent by Henry which was leaked to the newspaper as potentially unlawful and Henry was accused of racism.

After a three-month investigation, the governing body of football have revealed Henry has been charged with misconduct and will have until May 15 to respond to the charges.

The statement from the FA said: “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.

West Ham’s head of player recruitment, Tony Henry

“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.”

West Ham said on February 2 when they dismissed Henry from his post: “West Ham United…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.”

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