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Jonathan Biabiany's legal advisor has told FIFPro the French footballer is being forced to train alone at Sparta Prague in a "severe violation of the player's fundamental rights."

Training alone - football's version of solitary confinement - has been outlawed in newly-agreed FIFA rules on the abuse of players.

Earlier this month, Sparta Prague excluded Biabiany, who’s on loan from Inter Milan, from first-team activities, along with Marc Janko (Austria) and Georges Mandjeck (Cameroon). Mandjeck has since returned to his former club, Metz, on loan.

Biabiany's legal advisor says Sparta Prague is "mobbing" Biabiany in a bid to terminate his loan agreement and stop paying him.

Correspondence between Biabiany's lawyer and Sparta Prague, seen by FIFPro, suggests he will take his claims to FIFA in what would be one of the first test cases before the world governing body since new regulations on player abuse were agreed last year.

The Czech player union is assisting Biabiany.


Sparta Prague, coached by Italian Andrea Stramaccioni, has publicly stated it will save on costs by cutting some higher wage earners. After a disappointing run of results, in which it was eliminated in UEFA Europa League qualifying, the club is planning for next season.

Players on bigger contracts are more likely to be forced to train in isolation, a pressure tactic to get them off the books or decrease their salary, according to FIFPro research.

22% of the nearly 14,000 players surveyed worldwide by FIFPro in 2016 said they were aware of the practice, with 6.2% personally affected. The highest incidence was in eastern Europe, closely followed by the Asian region.

In a statement on Twitter (see below), Janko, one of Austria's all-time leading scorers at international level, said he would act professionally and not let Sparta's treatment affect him. The 34-year-old also experienced training alone when in Turkey with Trabzonspor.

Sparta Prague responded to the allegations on Twitter (see below), stating players excluded from the first team were still able to use the club's training facilities, with the help of a fitness coach, and that it had met its contractual obligations.

However, in a letter to the club dated January 18, Biabiany's lawyer said the player had been subjected to inadequate conditions including claims he was turned away by medical staff when seeking treatment for a knee injury.

Biabiany's player profile had been deleted from the club's official website when last checked by FIFPro staff on January 19.

If Sparta Prague does not immediately reinstate Biabiany to the first team, the 29-year-old is willing to take his case to FIFA, his lawyer concluded.