July 18, 2022

Absenteeism and Blackmail Reign in Crystal Palace

Crystal Palace are off to a rocky start for their pre-season tour of Singapore and Australia, as nine players are not travelling with the team at the moment.

Amongst those missing from the tour are forward Wilfried Zaha, midfielder Eberechi Eze and striker Christian Benteke. 

“It is not the ideal situation for a manager to have so many players behind,” said manager Patrick Vieira on Monday, 18 July. 

Per a club statement, some players did not meet the entry requirements for both Singapore and Australia when the original travel arrangements were made, while others were simply not considered fit enough for the upcoming games.

Midfielder Cheick Doucouré appears to also be one of the players who’ve stayed behind, albeit for different reasons: on Sunday, 17 July, his lawyer, Alexis Rutman, released a statement saying that Doucouré and his entourage were “victims of blackmail and an attempt at extortion from several individuals.”

“These individuals claim, with false evidence, that my client would have a double identity and demand the payment of a sum of money in return for their silence,” the statement went on to read.

Crystal Palace will be facing Manchester United tomorrow, Tuesday 19 July, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Australia.

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