Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eboue Ban Catches Black Cats Unaware; Allardyce Was Left in the Dark Eboue's Dispute Came as a Surprise

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Eboue Ban Catches Black Cats Unaware; Allardyce Was Left in the Dark Eboue's Dispute Came as a Surprise

Article excerpt

Byline: Stuart Rayner @StuRayner

SAM Allardyce is adamant there is no way Sunderland could have known Emmanuel Eboue was about to pick up a 12-month ban from football.

The right-back, who was in line to be in a Black Cats squad for the first time at home to West Bromwich Albion tomorrow, is not allowed even to enter the Academy of Light, never mind the Stadium of Light, until next March. It is punishment for failing to pay a bill understood to be in excess of PS800,000 to his thenagent Sebastien Boisseau.

Sunderland have terminated the 32-year-old's contract, but said they will take him back if he can resolve the matter in the next fortnight. Given the sums in question and Boisseau's apparent unwillingness to negotiate, it may not be possible or, as far as Eboue is concerned, even desirable.

The matter was brought to Fifa's attention in 2013, whereas Eboue only joined Sunderland on March 9 - as a free agent, after a trial.

It looks embarrassing for a club whose chief executive was forced to resign the previous day over her handling of the Adam Johnson situation, but Allardyce insists there was nothing they could have done differently.

"There's not really any way the club could have known it because it was purely and simply confidential," said Allardyce.

"I asked when this came to light, 'Would it drop with the FA and the Premier League as a red flag?' The answer was no - it was confidential, unless the people who were handling the case made it public. We couldn't even ask.

"He (Eboue) should have communicated with the people who were dealing with it and settled it when he had the opportunity.

"I don't know how much his current agent knew about this. We didn't know it had gone to the Court of Arbitration for Sport."

Fifa has now revealed that Eboue was fined PS22,000 in Turn to Page 54 FROM BACK PAGE September 2014 for his non-payment.

He was given 120 days to settle but failed to do so. It was only by joining Sunderland, 10 months after being released by Galatasaray, that it became worth Boisseau's while to pursue the matter, and his complaint triggered the punishment. …

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