Swansea's Andre Ayew launches firm defence of African players

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The former Hammers striker has rejected claims that African players develop negative attitude when not selected for games

Andre Ayew has defended African players in the wake of criticism by former West Ham United’s head of recruitment, Tony Henry.

Henry was sacked after disclosing that the club will no longer sign African players because ‘they cause mayhem’ when not selected for matches.

And the 28-year-old who rejoined Swansea City from West Ham in January has dismissed such insinuations.

"I left when that happened, I spoke to a few guys so I didn't really know what was going on," Ayew told Walesonline.co.uk.

"I just know that we African players are proud of ourselves, we know where we have come from and we believe in our football.

"We can see that African players have played at the greatest clubs in the world and done their jobs. As African players, we know we have quality and played at the highest level.

"We have players who have played at the top level - Didier Drogba etc - and I just know that we have great players who have played for top teams.

Andre Ayew

"African players is like any human being in the world, everyone is different.

"Maybe an African player can be difficult, but maybe a French or English player can be difficult too.

"Maybe an African player can be calm, so it's not possible to say they are the same - everyone has their character, their philosophy, their character, the way they were brought up, to lead their life the way they think is best for him.

“I just feel African players have done a lot to get into professional football and now play for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.

"For me, it's an honour to be an African. I am so proud and so happy and I wouldn't change it for nothing."

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The former Olympique Marseille player scored 13 goals in 50 appearances in all competitions before his departure from the London stadium.