Former West Brom striker faces ban after crossing Dani Alves' ex-wife

UD Almeria Stadium

Thievy Bifouma has been hit with the prospect of a month-long ban from La Liga matches for breach of contract.

Congolese striker Thievy Bifouma spent the back end of last season on-loan with West Bromwich Albion, scoring twice in six outings in the Premier League during the brief tenure of Spanish coach Pepe Mel.

An unwanted man at Espanyol, following numerous arguments and disciplinary issues between the player and the Catalan club, Thievy was this season shipped out on loan to fellow La Liga side Almería, who are currently battling to avoid relegation.

The 22-year-old forward hasn't produced great numbers in front of goal this season, with just one strike in 20 outings in all competitions so far, but is still regarded as a key player by manager Juan Ignacio Martínez, who mainly utilises Thievy as a wide player in a 4-2-3-1 system.

However, Almería may now be forced to do without Thievy after the Competition Committee of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) informed the club he must serve a one-month ban. The reason for this ban is a breach of contract case raised by his former agent, Dinorah Santana.

Her name is one anyone following the saga over the future of Barcelona full-back Dani Alves will be familiar with. Santana is his ex-wife, although she still represents the Brazilian as an agent. Her representation company, Flashforward, also represents numerous other footballers, actors, models and other celebrities.

Santana has filed a case with the RFEF alleging Theivy has broken his contract with her company, as his officially registered representatives. As such and in breach of their regulations, they have issued the player with a one-month playing ban.

Quite a remarkable situation, given that Thievy and effectively his current club are being punished somewhat heavily for what is otherwise a dispute between the player and his agent.

Almería are challenging the ban with the RFEF Appeals Committee and the Spanish Sporting Disciplinary Committee, but won't have a definitive answer until this Friday as to whether he'll be able to participate in the game away at Athletic Club Bilbao this weekend.

If the appeal fails, Thievy will have to serve a one-month playing ban which, along with this weekend's encounter in La Liga, will also put him out of crucial games against Levante, Barcelona and Granada.

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