Swiss club FC Sion have dismissed nine players, including captain Xavier Kouassi and former Arsenal and Barcelona midfielder Alex Song, after the country’s league was halted indefinitely because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The SDA news agency and RSI television network both reported the dismissals which also included Johan Djourou, Pajtim Kasami, Ermir Lenjani, Seydou Doumbia, Mickael Facchinetti, Christian Zock and Birama Ndoye.

They said the players had refused to sign an agreement for a wage cut while the stoppage continues. The club did not confirm the dismissals and could not immediately be reached for comment.

The Swiss league was stopped on March 1 after the government banned gatherings of more than 1,000 people.

Sion are eighth in the 10-team Swiss Super League and only four points clear of the relegation place. There are 13 rounds of matches to play if the championship re-starts.