Andre Onana suspended for 12 months, Sebastien Haller misses Europa League as Ajax’s week keeps getting worse


If you think you are having a bad week, spare a thought for AFC Ajax after a few disastrous days at Johan Cruyff Arena.

On Friday, the current Dutch champions revealed that UEFA has informed them of a 12-month suspension for goalkeeper Andre Onana for a doping violation.

That came just hours after confirming that European football’s governing body had also rejected their bid to register record signing Sebastien Haller for their Europa League squad after a glaring administrative error saw him left out.

All of this just two days after highly rated 19-year-old Brian Brobbey announced his intention to leave the Amsterdam giants for nothing when his contract expires this summer.

Onana, the Cameroon international whose mistake saw Ajax go down 1-0 to Liverpool in the Champions League group stage at Anfield in December as they missed the latter stages by a single point, tested positive for Furosemide after an “out of competition” check in October of 2020.

The 24-year-old’s ban is effective immediately and means that he is unavailable for Erik ten Hag’s men and his country’s national team for a full year — despite Ajax protesting Onana’s innocence in mistakenly taking his wife’s medicine Lasimac.

UEFA, despite recognizing that the former Barcelona man had no intention of cheating, have punished the player as anti-doping rules state that “an athlete has a duty at all times to ensure that no banned substances enter the body.”

“We explicitly renounce performance-enhancing drugs, we obviously stand for a clean sport,” said managing director and ex-player Edwin van der Sar with a Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) appeal planned. “This is a terrible setback, for Andre himself but certainly also for us as a club.”

“We had hoped for a conditional suspension or for a suspension much shorter than these 12 months because it was arguably not intended to strengthen his body and thus improve his performance.”

That the second of two quickfire blows after UEFA confirmed that Ajax’s failure to register $34 million signing Haller for the remainder of the 2020-21 Europa League campaign is irrevocable while fellow winter signing Oussama Idrissi, on loan from Sevilla, was correctly registered.

All of this comes after Brobbey told Ajax that he will not renew his contract with his formative club and will consequently leave this summer as a free agent after 11 years with the club with two goals from six senior appearances after his debut last October.

“It is too bad (he is going) and we did everything we could to keep him,” said Director of Football Affairs and former player Marc Overmars. “He has chosen to play elsewhere from this summer onwards. It is difficult to accept but it is his decision. Brian is still under contract for a few months. If we need him, the coach will pick him.”





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