Losing Adam Johnson to a prison term and having to do without the services of Ivory Coast’s Emmanuel Eboue from the squad currently fighting hard to come off the relegation zone in the Premier League is against the odds.
According to FIFA, it became necessary to place Emmanuel on ban for one year pending settlement of financial issues with his former agent Sebastian Boisseau. This is sad news for Sunderland who just procured the player’s services this month.
A statement from the football governing body says: “Emmanuel Eboue, who has represented Cote d’Ivoire and is currently registered for the English club Sunderland AFC, 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.”
For Sam Allardyce, this ban on Emmanuel is wrongly timed and should never have happened.
“Emmanuel Eboue — what part might he have played for us in the next eight games? Who knows now? I won’t be able to find out, a man as experienced as him at 32 years old.”
The positive side of the incident for the club is that Sunderland’s management has already served notice of termination of the player’s contract. Emmanuel has rights to appeal over the decision in two weeks.
Official statement from the club on the sack confirms: “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 football agent’s lawyer, James Severn said his client had no option better than to call for legal help. The lawyer argued that Mr. Boisseau’s decision to invoke the ban is in line with rights granted by FIFA’s disciplinary committee which gives Emmanuel Eboue a final 120 days’ grace. The suspended striker has owed his wages and violated instructions to pay since September 2014.
He said: “My client’s claim against Mr Eboue was filed with FIFA in February 2012 and more than four years later, Mr Eboue has taken no steps whatsoever to satisfy the debt.
“It is disappointing that FIFA and Mr Boisseau have been forced to resort to a playing ban to enforce Mr Boisseau’s rights. My client hopes that Mr Eboue will now take immediate steps to settle the outstanding debt so that he can continue his playing career.”
It’s been a sad month for manager Sam Allardyce who vehemently denied having knowledge of the rift between Emmanuel Eboue and his agent. The news came to the club few days ago.
Sam, 61, says he will miss Johnson who is starting a 6-year prison sentence for his engagement in child porn. He also agreed that, for having sexual activity with a child, Johnson got exactly what he deserved.
Allardyce said: “We have lost a hugely talented player in Adam Johnson, irrespective of his indiscretions. He’s got what he deserved, but I have lost a talented player that I would have liked to have kept, but it’s taken out of my hands by other factors.”
Indeed, a bad week it has been for Sunderland after Johnson was sacked, Emmanuel banned and chief executive Margaret Byrne resigned.
He said: “It’s bizarre. It has been rather, in off-the-field activities, something I haven’t experienced before, but as a professional and as experienced as I am, you have to deal with it and deal with it the way it needs to be dealt with.
“There’ll still be a door open if those problems are sorted in the next seven to 14 days. If that’s the case, there may be a way back, but it’s hugely frustrating having spent so much time — and him committing so much time.
“There we go, but he probably relied on other people too much and didn’t keep a close enough eye on it himself to make sure it didn’t get to this situation, but unfortunately it has.”