Poyet praises Ji’s professionalism over Sunderland registration error

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GUS Poyet has praised the professionalism of Ji Dong-won in accepting he was unable to play for Sunderland because his international registration had not been processed.

The South Korean international was involved in five games at the start of the season, which he should not have been available for because the club had not re-registered his international clearance upon his return from a loan spell at German side Augsburg.

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet

Sunderland manager Gus Poyet

While the issue was being dealt with, Sunderland did not pick the striker.

Ji’s next game, after the error was discovered in October, was not until New Year’s Day when the new registration was rubber-stamped.

And Poyet said he was impressed with Ji’s patience and understanding in a very difficult situation.

“I can only talk about him as a professional,” said the head coach.

“And I have to say he was outstanding in terms of the fact he understood he couldn’t be a player for me.

“He didn’t talk about it. He waited, he didn’t say a word.

“And I think as a professional he deserves credit for the way he handled himself.”

A statement from the club today said: “The issue of Ji Dong-won was explained in detail at a Premier League shareholders meeting and no issues were raised by any club.

“Sunderland confirmed they had complied with all procedures and the Premier League stated that the player was duly registered on the extranet system and in all other Premier League mechanisms.

“The club has never accepted any wrongdoing, but did acknowledge that a technical fault occurred and as such were fined by the Premier League accordingly in December.

“The matter is now closed.”