That loveable Arsenal cult hero, Emmanuel Eboue – it is probably fairer to call him a Premier League cult hero, actually – move to Northern Cypriot team, Türk Ocağı Limasol, has been put on hold after the Ivorian’s medical flagged some concerning results.
Reports, tragically, suggest that the 34-year-old has tested positive for HIV, however, Tekin Birinci, the man in the middle of the Eboue to Cyprus transfer has moved quickly to quash those rumours – it’s important to note that these rumours first arose in Turkey, a place where Eboue used to play for Galatasaray.
“Eboue signed for a club and, as a normal procedure, we took him for a medical to check him out.
“They found abnormal blood values so they didn’t issue the licence and we took the decision to send him to England to have medical check-ups there.
“It’s wrong to say at this point he has HIV. Turkish news reports are wrong. I made it [Eboue’s situation] clear two days ago. Even if it will be true it shouldn’t be published like that.”
Tekin Birinci speaking to Goal
If the news turns out to be false, the damage is done in terms of people believing that Eboue is HIV positive; a little apology will be tucked away on the media outlet, who first reported the story, website, apologising to the former Arsenal right-back. However, a story saying that Eboue doesn’t have HIV, won’t go as viral on social media as a story saying the defender does, so millions of people will live their lives believing Eboue carries the illness.
However, if the news does turn out to be true, it raises a lot of ethical questions: could Türk Ocağı Limasol has quietly – and mutually – terminated the former Sunderland defender’s contract? Why is Eboue’s HIV status now pubic knowledge? Why wasn’t Eboue been allowed – should he have wanted to – to share the news with the world on his own time?
The footballing world, yet again, devoid of a moral compass.