Sunderland sack Johnson after child sex charge admission

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Image: Sunderland’s Adam Johnson after the game. Action Images via Reuters / Carl Recine Livepic

LONDON (Reuters) – England international Adam Johnson has been sacked by Premier League Sunderland after he pleaded guilty to sexual activity with a child, the club said on Thursday.

“In light of Adam Johnson’s guilty pleas, the club has today terminated his contract with immediate effect,” Sunderland said in a statement. “The club will make no further comment.”

Johnson pleaded guilty to one count of sexual activity with a child, but denied two other charges, when he appeared at Bradford Crown Court on Wednesday.

The 28-year-old winger, who has played 12 times for England, also admitted one count of grooming a girl under the age of 16, a court official said.

Sportwear firm Adidas said in a statement on Thursday that it had cancelled its boot contract with the midfielder.

Johnson, who began his career at Middlesbrough and also played for Manchester City, joined Sunderland for 10 million pounds ($14.46 million) in 2012 on a four-year contract.

He has been a regular for the north-east side this season and scored in the 2-2 draw with Liverpool last week.

When asked about the winger’s future at a news conference earlier on Thursday, manager Sam Allardyce said: “He’ll not be available for this weekend. We will see how it goes after that.”

Johnson’s case is expected to last two weeks.

(Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Pritha Sarkar and Mark Lamport-Stokes)

Copyright 2015 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.

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