Sunderland have told Emmanuel Eboue they will terminate his contract after he was banned from football for a year over an unpaid debt.
The 32-year-old former Arsenal defender, who joined the Black Cats on a short-term deal earlier this month, has been served two weeks’ notice that the club intends to cut short his contract without him kicking a ball for the first team. The player has been given the right of appeal.
Sunderland’s move came after FIFA imposed a ban invoked by former agent Sebastien Boisseau over a disputed payment.
A club statement said: “Sunderland AFC has been advised by the Football Association that Emmanuel Eboue has been placed under an immediate suspension from football and all football-related activity for a period of one year, by FIFA.
“The suspension relates to a monetary dispute between the player and a former agent, which precedes his time at Sunderland AFC and was not something that the club was made aware of by the player.
“Eboue signed a contract with Sunderland AFC until the end of the current season and the club has therefore given notice of its intention to terminate the contract. The player has two weeks in which to appeal this decision.”
The news will have come as another blow to manager Sam Allardyce, who recruited the experienced defender to assist in the club’s battle for Barclays Premier League survival.
Allardyce has already lost former England midfielder Adam Johnson from his squad after the club sacked him following his admission of sexual activity with a child, and the player has since been jailed.
News of Eboue’s ban, which is scheduled to last for 12 months or until the debt is paid, broke on Thursday morning.
In a statement, world governing body FIFA said: “Emmanuel Eboue, who has represented Cote d’Ivoire and is currently registered for the English club Sunderland A.F.C., is to serve a ban on taking part in any football-related activity that will last for one year or until he pays the total outstanding amount owed to his former agent if this occurs before the one-year ban has elapsed.”
The suspension relates to a decision taken by the single judge of FIFA’s players’ status committee in July 2013 which ruled that Mr Boisseau was entitled to a payment under the terms of the agreement he had with Eboue.
However, the full-back was fined 30,000 Swiss francs – around £21,650 – by FIFA’s disciplinary committee in September 2014 for failing to comply with that decision and given 120 days in which to do so, after which point Mr Boisseau was entitled to request the ban if he had not been paid.
Eboue appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, but his case was rejected.
The statement continued: “Following the expiry of the final deadline granted, Mr Boisseau requested that the one-year ban be imposed on Mr Eboue in accordance with the decision of the FIFA Disciplinary Committee. The relevant parties, including The Football Association which has been requested to implement said ban, have been informed accordingly.”