Coronavirus: Ex-Arsenal star Song among four Africans sacked by FC Sion

Alex Song - ArsenalGetty Images

Former Arsenal and Barcelona star Alex Song, Ivory Coast duo Xavier Kouassi and Seydou Kouassi, and Senegal's Birama Ndoye have been sacked by FC Sion for refusing to take a pay cut due to the coronavirus outbreak.

With several competitions and league halted due to the spread of Covid-19 across the world, clubs are taking steps to check their financial spending to avoid bankruptcy.

Earlier this week, the Swiss Super League outfit proposed a 'technical unemployment' deal to players that would see them earn about 12,000 francs monthly during the suspension of football activities in the country.

According to Swiss news outlet Blick, club president Christian Constantin notified the first-team about the new development on Tuesday and was expecting a response before noon the following day but many refused to respond.

In reaction, Sion relieved nine players of their contracts which include the four Africans.

While Kouassi is tied to the Swiss club until 2023, Song, Doumbia and Ndoye were set to become free agents in the summer with their contracts expiring in June.

Meanwhile, the Swiss Association of Football Players, SAFP, described the players' sudden dismissal as unfair.

The SAFP wrote: "We hope these unfair dismissals will be cancelled immediately and that discussions will be started on possible alternatives."

Doumbia is the second-highest scoring player for Sion this season with six goals in 17 games in all competitions, Ndoye has a goal in 12 league outings while Song and Kouassi made 11 and 17 appearances for Ricardo Dionisio's side, who are eighth in the Super League table.