Europe news

Sanogo sues Saint-Etienne for harassment

October 19, 2012
By Fabien Perrin, France Correspondent

Energie Cottbus striker Boubacar Sanogo is suing former club Saint-Etienne for €7.7 million worth of damages for harassment.

Boubacar Sanogo
EmpicsBoubacar Sanogo has 21 caps for Ivory Coast

Sanogo, 29, moved to the French club in 2009 for a fee of €5 million from Werder Bremen, becoming the side's highest-paid player.

However, a troubled period followed with the Ivory Coast international only making a limited number of appearances before eventually being told by Saint-Etienne that he was no longer needed. He was released by the club in March.

"ASSE bosses chucked me out," Sanogo told L'Equipe. "I was criticized in the press, they said I was stealing from the club.

"I underwent thigh surgery in October 2010, but I did everything to come back."

After returning from injury Sanogo found he had been deemed surplus to requirements, with the player claiming he had been completely banished from the club.

"They considered me as an intruder, I was deprived of jersey and equipment," he said. "I was banned from training, I couldn't take my breakfast with players. I hadn't even my spot in the car park anymore. I lost my match tickets, I was forbidden to appear in the official photo. I had to spend six hours in a bus to play in Tarbes with the second team, but I still did not play.

"If it was not harassment, what was it?"

However, club President Rolan Romeyer has hit back at Sanogo's claims, stating he is not worried about the court case.

"He [Sanogo] can say anything," Romeyer told L'Equipe. "He was the highest-paid player in Saint-Etienne [on €150, 000 a month] and we were really disappointed about his mental investment.

"Our lawyer, Olivier Martin, will take care of this case. I'm not worried."