London - Sunderland said Thursday they intended to terminate
the contract of Emmanuel Eboue before he had even kicked a ball in anger for
the club after FIFA ordered the defender to serve a one-year ban over fees owed
to a former agent.
However, the Ivory Coast international can automatically end
the ban if he pays the money to his ex-agent Sebastien Boisseau, the world
governing body said.
FIFA, announcing the suspension earlier on Thursday, said
the ban covers "any football-related activity that will last for one year
or until he pays the total outstanding amount owed to his former agent".
In response, Premier League strugglers Sunderland said they
had given the 32-year-old former Arsenal player, who joined the north-east side
in a short-term deal earlier this month, two weeks' notice.
Eboue has the right of appeal but it now looks as if his
Sunderland career could end without him making a single first-team appearance.
Also read: Eboue signs with Sunderland until end of season
"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," said a club statement.
"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."
Eboue's ban will be a further setback to Sunderland manager
Sam Allardyce's hopes of keeping the club in the lucrative Premier League, with
the Black Cats now without Adam Johnson after the club sacked the former
England midfielder following his admission of sexual activity with an under-age
girl that has since seen the player jailed.
Sunderland, two points shy of safety, continue their quest
for Premier League survival against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
A FIFA players' status committee ruled in July 2013 in
favour of agent Sebastien Boisseau in a contractual dispute with Eboue. In
September 2014, the FIFA disciplinary committee fined the Ivory Coast star
30,000 Swiss francs ($30,000) for failing to comply with the decision.
He was then given a 120-day "grace period" to
settle the debt before Boisseau would be entitled to request that a one-year
ban be imposed.
Eboue appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport but
lost. After a new deadline for payment was set and passed, Boisseau
"requested that the one-year ban be imposed on Mr Eboue in accordance with
the decision of the FIFA disciplinary committee", said a FIFA statement.For
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