Former Super Eagles skipper, Nwankwo Kanu
Portsmouth FC Manager, Michael Appleton, Tuesday branded former Super Eagles skipper, Nwankwo Kanu as ‘disrespectful’ and vowed to punish the leggy forward for skipping Monday’s training.
Reports in UK’s Portsmouth News confirmed the veteran forward failed to turn up for Monday’s pre-season, despite having been instructed to attend by the club.
Appleton was at a loss as to the reason why Kanu was not with the eight other senior professionals who did turn up at Eastleigh, among them Tal Ben Haim.
The Blues boss believes the Nigerian, who has rarely turned up to the first day of training in previous years at Pompey – albeit with permission from the club – is effectively in breach of his contract.
Pompey have made no secret they are desperate to remove Kanu from their wage bill, although have baulked at his £300,000 demands to rip up the final year of his contract.
Regardless, Appleton is adamant he will take firm action over his absent player.
He said: ‘King (Kanu) was aware he should have been back in yesterday (Monday).
‘I know there have been discussions between himself, his solicitor and Trevor (Birch) and it has been up to them to come to some kind of solution. But there was no reason why he shouldn’t have been at training.
‘Players have got to abide by their contract. If they are told to be somewhere they have to be somewhere, otherwise they are in breach of contract. It is as simple as that.
‘We can now possibly have him for breach of contract.
‘I don’t know what type of punishment he will get but there will be some kind.
‘We will have a proper look at it and he will get a fine.
‘If it keeps happening then, obviously, there will have to be discussions with someone (the PFA) at some point.
‘We are not going to let him off. It’s disrespectful to the rest of the team. When everyone else can turn up, even in these extreme circumstances, then why can’t he?
‘From what I have heard, it is not the first time he has come back late for pre-season but you can’t have one rule for one and one for the others.
‘That is unless it is special circumstances that he had played in the Euros – but I don’t think that was the case.
‘You get a feeling they might not turn up but the contract is there and they are expected to come back along with everyone else.
‘If you have got anything about you then you realise you’ve got a contract to the football club and have to adhere to that contract.
‘I have never seen it before as a player or a coach and that is because you abide by it, it is part of your contract. You do it.’