Coronavirus, FC Sion, Alex Song Johan Djourou

Former Arsenal duo Johan Djourou and Alexandre Song are among nine players sacked by Swiss club FC Sion for refusing to take an unemployment settlement in light of the coronavirus.

The entire squad was contacted on social messaging service WhatsApp by president Christian Constantin on Tuesday. Constantin’s message asked the players to take a “technical unemployment” deal which would see them receive a payment of around 9600 Swiss francs – an amount that is equivalent to 80% of the legal monthly salary in Switzerland.

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The players were given until noon on Wednesday to respond and, although many of them refused or failed to reply, nine were subsequently let go – many of them on contracts that were due to expire at the end of June.

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The affected players include Song and Djourou – who played for Arsenal under Arsene Wenger – Christian Zock, Pajtim Kasami, Ermir Lenjani, Xavier Kouassi, Birama Ndoye, Mikael Facchinetti and Seydou Doumbia now find themselves dismissed without notice and without a club as world football has ground to a halt in the face of the pandemic.

The Swiss Players Union, the SAFP, has protested the dismissals, calling them unfair, while the players are reported to be seeking legal advice.

Vanguard News

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