Sunderland defender Emmanuel Eboue has had his contract terminated by the Premier League club after being placed under an immediate suspension from football by FIFA.
The governing body confirmed on Thursday that Eboue has been banned from football for one year or until he pays money owed to a former agent.
Now, Sunderland have made the decision to rip up the Ivorian’s contract just months after terminating Adam Johnson’s contract for sex crimes.
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Eboue was ordered to pay Sebastien Boisseau in July 2013 following a contractual dispute.
The defender, who joined Sunderland on March 9, was fined 30,000 Swiss francs (£21,000) in September 2014 for failing to meet the agreement and was given 120 days to settle the case with Boisseau.
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The agent would be entitled to request Eboue be handed a one-year ban if he failed to meet the demands again, and that punishment has now been imposed.
A FIFA statement read: “Mr Eboué was ordered to pay the players’ agent Mr Sébastien Boisseau an amount owed to him based on the representation agreement between the two parties.”
FIFA revealed that the 32-year-old appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport against the governing body’s decision but the Disciplinary Committee dismissed the appeal.
Sunderland published a statement within an hour of Eboue’s suspension being confirmed.
It read: “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 statement adds that Sunderland were not aware of Eboue’s contractual issues with his former agent.
Eboue arrived on Wearside following stints with Arsenal and Galatasaray.
He became something of a cult hero at the north London club for his often mistake-ridden performances.
But he was yet to make a first-team appearance for Sunderland and seemed to be a backup player.
Allardyce is reassessment his initial impression
Sam Allardyce said after signing him: “It would be wrong of me to turn down a player with such great experience of the Premier League, Champions League and international football – or not to think that he could play a part for us in our fight against relegation this season,” per The Guardian.
The Sunderland boss also added: “He’s a terrific guy, a very, very good talker as well as a good player,” although he might be reassessing those first two comments.
The Black Cats are embroiled in a relegation fight - they are 18th in the table - and their season has been mired by off-the-field incidents.
Johnson was sacked by the club after pleading guilty to child sex offences. He was sentenced to six years in prison last week.
It’s been a season to forget for Sunderland.