David Moyes has denied claims made by West Ham's disgraced head of recruitment Tony Henry that the club has a policy of not signing African players because they 'cause mayhem' when not selected.
Henry was sacked from his position at the club on Friday, after emails were leaked showing that he had refused to entertain the possibility of signing a player on the basis of his continent of birth.
In the transcript of a conversation between Henry and a Daily Mail reporter, the former appeared to claim that the no-Africans policy had been implemented by Moyes. But the Scotsman denied this allegation, citing West Ham's recent negotiations with African players.
“Well, as we were signing two African players on deadline day, you’d have to say it’s incorrect and wrong," Moyes said in his press conference on Friday, quoted by the Sun.
One of these players was Islam Slimani. West Ham were interested in a loan deal for the Leicester City striker, but he ended up signing for Newcastle instead. The other was Lille midfielder Ibrahim Amadou, but no deal could be agreed for the Cameroon-born Frenchman.
Some have seen the recent sales of Andre Ayew and Diafra Sakho as proof that this policy may indeed be prevalent at West Ham. Sakho claimed that the Hammers "don't want black players", which was denied by the club.
“West Ham United categorically refute the allegation made by Diafra Sakho and find his comments deeply offensive," said a club spokesperson.
West Ham vice-chairman Karren Brady also denied the accusations made by Henry and claimed that she "could not be prouder" of the club's attitude towards equality.
"I can confirm with absolute faith and certainty that West Ham United is a football club built on a bedrock of equality, diversity and inclusion," said Brady.