Swiss football club sacks 9 players

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A Swiss football club fired nine of its players on Friday, something rare for a sports club.

FC Sion said on their website that the Swiss Super League club terminated contracts of Ermir Lenjani, Xavier Kouassi, Mickael Facchinetti, Birama Ndoye, Johan Djourou, Pajtim Kasami, Seydou Doumbia, Christian Zock and Alexandre Song.

The club did not give any reason for the dismissals.

A French-speaking Swiss media outlet, Radio Television Suisse (RTS), however, claimed that the players were fired since they had refused to comply with measures taken by the club to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the RTS, FC Sion had asked players to accept an 80% salary pay cut with a ceiling wage of 12,500 Swiss francs ($12,700).

The Swiss Super League was suspended on March 1 to stem the spread of the virus.

Also known as COVID-19, the virus emerged in Wuhan, China, last December, and has since spread to at least 168 countries and territories, according to the World Health Organization.

Some 4,164 people have tested positive for the virus in Switzerland to date, as per figures maintained by Johns Hopkins University's Coronavirus Research Center. At least 43 people passed away after being infected.

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