African All Stars

Former Arsenal defender Emmanuel Eboue still struggling with depression

African All Stars
Premier League
Ivory Coast
The 36-year-old revealed that he is yet to recover from the year-long ban he was given by Fifa in 2016
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Former Arsenal and Galatasaray defender Emmanuel Eboue said that he is still battling with depression, three years after he was banned from football by Fifa.

Eboue was given a year-long ban after failing to pay his ex-agent, Sebastien Boisseau €1 million in debt for his transfer to the Turkish Super Lig in 2011.

The punishment came after he joined Sunderland in March 2016, and had his contract with the Black Cats terminated less than a month after the move.

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During the period of the ban when he was unable to play or train with any club, the Ivorian defender recalled that he was forced to lie and pretend to his children that he was employed by a club.

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"The Federation suspended me from any activity, I did not have the right to train with a club for a year. I was training with myself and I was ashamed," Eboue told RMC Sport.

"I used to train in the morning, but there were people who were training at that time and they came to take a picture.

"I then had to train at night, there was no light, but I could not stay at home.

"When I saw my children, they asked me when I was going back to the field, so when I went out in the morning, I pretended to go to work.

"I was staying outside and going home when my children were already in bed, I did not want them to ask me why they did not see me play.”

After the ban was lifted in 2017, Eboue was rocked with a family issue which led to a bitter divorce and loss of assets to his ex-wife Aurelie.

But he disclosed that he is yet to recover from the emotional damage, as he now resorted to taking drugs to battle depression.

"Often, I would lock myself in my room for three or four days," he added. "Even today, I take anti-depressants," he added.

In his bid to maintain top form, Eboue joined Hungarian side Ferencvaros to train and he was said to be considering a return to the Premier League return during his visit to his son, who is in the Arsenal youth setup.

The Gunners even offered to help the 36-year-old after reports of his personal difficulties amid thoughts of committing suicide.