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Sunderland defender Emmanuel Eboue has been given a one-year playing ban for failing to pay a former agent.
Eboue was initially fined by a judge for failing to pay his former agent Sebastien Boisseau and was given 120 days to settle the fee. However, he opted to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
CAS rejected his appeal and he has been handed a one-year ban, although he will be free to play when he pays the total outstanding amount owed to his former agent.
"Emmanuel Eboué, who has represented Côte 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," a statement from FIFA read.
"The origins of the case involve a decision passed by the single judge of the FIFA Players’ Status Committee in July 2013 regarding a contractual dispute according to which 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. The decision was taken on the basis of the FIFA Players’ Agents Regulations in force at the time (2008 edition).*
"On 9 September 2014, the FIFA Disciplinary Committee decided to sanction Mr Eboué with a fine of CHF 30,000 for failing to comply with the decision of the single judge of the Players’ Status Committee on the basis of art. 64 of the FIFA Disciplinary Code. The player was also granted a final period of grace of 120 days to settle his debt, upon failure of which the creditor – Mr Boisseau – would be entitled to request that a one-year ban on taking part in any football-related activity be imposed on Mr Eboué.
"Mr Eboué appealed to CAS against the FIFA Disciplinary Committee’s decision, but the appeal was dismissed and the decision of the Disciplinary Committee confirmed in full.
"Following the expiry of the final deadline granted, Mr Boisseau requested that the one-year ban be imposed on Mr Eboué 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."
Eboue joined Sunderland earlier this month on a short-term deal after impressing during a short spell with the club.
Sunderland have reacted to the news by terminating his contract.
"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," a statement read.
"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."