Alex Song among 9 players fired by Swiss club for reportedly refusing pay cut
Victor Fraile / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Swiss club FC Sion fired nine players Friday, including former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Alex Song and ex-Newcastle striker Seydou Doumbia, after reports they refused to reduce their pay.

The Swiss Super League suspended play March 1 with 13 matches remaining due to the coronavirus pandemic. Sion had asked their players to slash their wages during the work stoppage or face termination, according to news agency Swissinfo.

Club captain Xavier Kouassi, former Arsenal defender Johan Djourou, and ex-Fulham midfielder Pajtim Kasami were also dismissed.

The Swiss government banned public and private gatherings of more than 1,000 people at the end of February. On Friday, the country took the ban a step further, restricting groups to five people.

"We don't have a complete lockdown yet, but we're almost there," Swiss health minister Alain Berset said at a media conference, according to Reuters.

Switzerland is one of the hardest-hit countries in Europe, with more than 5,000 coronavirus cases. Fifty-four people have died from the disease.

Sion are currently in eighth place out of 10 teams in the Swiss Super League, four points above the relegation zone.

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Alex Song among 9 players fired by Swiss club for reportedly refusing pay cut
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