'I am not lying': Ex-Sunderland striker lifts lid on why he hasn't played and dispute with Beijing Enterprises
Victor Anichebe has confirmed he hasn't been playing football due to an ongoing dispute with former club Beijing Enterprises.
Reports emerged last week that the ex-Sunderland striker had claimed he was told 'not to try' by his coaches when playing for Beijing Enterprises, amid allegations of match-fixing.Anichebe has reported the Chinese club to FIFA following a dispute with his former employers, which dates back to October last year.
According to the Daily Mail, the 30-year-old, sought legal advise after questioning team instructions but officials at Beijing Enterprises have strongly denied his claims.
Anichebe has now moved to put his side of the story across following an "incredibly testing and difficult" 12-months.
Posting on his Instagram account, Anichebe wrote: "So many of you guys have been inquiring as to why haven’t I been playing. A lot of you have speculated that I have retired.
"For a long time I haven’t said anything regarding my absence from football due to advice received from my lawyers.
"Fact of the matter is I’ve been in dispute with my former employer, @bj_enterprise_fc . As a result of this dispute I was unable to play.
"This matter is currently in the hands of FIFA in whom I trust and respect will give the correct verdict, in due course.
"This is my first time speaking about this publicly despite seeing many articles written regarding my situation.
"Although, I am not at liberty to discuss in details the extent of my dispute with my former team I felt obligated to respond to them calling me a “liar”. In doing so, they have managed to call into question my character.
"As I stand here today I can truly say, in all conscience, I am not lying about any allegation I have put forth regarding my former team. I have tried on numerous occasions to resolve this issue prior to involving outside parties.
"Even with all the evidence I have (videos, pictures, conversations, witness statements etc) I have yet to leak a single peace of evidence to media because I have placed confidence in the legal process and FIFA’s ability to resolve it.
"But rest assured that once the appropriate verdict has been rendered by FIFA, I will then be 100% compelled to show proof and tell the complete story."
He added: "Despite all that has happened, I really enjoyed my short stint in China.
"It afforded me the opportunity to embrace the culture and football as it was fairly different to what I’ve been used to.
"But due to numerous factors my time was cut short sadly. Since then I can’t lie this past year has been incredibly testing and difficult.
"They’ve tried all kinds to break me and silence me but I continue to seek justice. I have total faith that everything happens for a reason and the whole truth will soon come to light.
And while the striker never refused to play for the Chinese club, the dispute has prevented him from playing competitively for nearly a year.