Sunderland were left stunned by the news that new signing Emmanuel Eboue faces a one year ban from football.
FIFA announced via their website that Eboue must serve a ban after failing to pay his agent.
The development was just as much a revelation to Sunderland as it was to their fans, with the club apparently knowing nothing of the dispute.
They issued a statement via their official club website insisting the situation 'was not something that the club was made aware of by the player.'
They declared their intention to terminate Eboue's contract, with the Ivory Coast star having two weeks to appeal their decision.
Eboue had only signed for Sunderland on a free transfer three weeks earlier, after his contract at Galatasaray was terminated by mutual consent earlier in the season.
The former Arsenal full-back had impressed after a trial, and had hoped to play a part in the club's battle against relegation over the final two months of the season.
Sunderland are currently in 18th position, and face West Bromwich Albion this weekend.
Here is a look at how supporters reacted to the news...
Just when you think Sunderland couldn't get any more Sunderland, this Eboue thing happens. Majestic #safc— James Gutteridge (@HawaytheJames) March 31, 2016
#SAFC Well that turned out to be a waste of time. Eboue banned for a year— Daniel Jenks (@DanielJenks89) March 31, 2016
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