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Sunderland terminate £8m defender’s contract after going AWOL

Sunderland have terminated the contract of Papy Djilobodji after he was 10 weeks late reporting in for pre-season training and ‘comprehensively failed’ a fitness test.

The defender spent last season on loan at Dijon in France, after the 2016/17 campaign saw the Black Cats relegated from the Premier League.

Djilobodji, who was under contract until June 2020, but hadn’t played for the club since August 2017, returned to training at the beginning of September after ignoring requests from the League One club.

An official statement read: “Sunderland AFC has given notice under its contract with Papy Djilobodji.

“Djilobodji, who was under contract to SAFC until June 2020, indicated in June 2018 that he wished to leave the club.

“In order to facilitate that desire, the club entered into a written agreement with the player allowing him to spend the month of July on voluntary unpaid leave.

“When that period came to an end, the player was expected either to leave for a new club – having reached a deal satisfactory to himself and SAFC – or to return in shape to play professional football.

“Instead, he returned to Sunderland over a month later, in the first week of September, ignoring written requests for his return.

“On his return, he was subjected to the same fitness test that his fellow professionals had undertaken on their return. He comprehensively failed that test.

“As a result, Sunderland AFC can confirm that it has accepted Papy Djilobodji’s repudiatory breaches of contract and notice of the same has been provided to the player.”


After the statement came out, plenty of football fans didn’t hold back with the thoughts on the defender’s actions along with many hilariously GIFs – check out the the best reaction on the next page but expect bad language.


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