Security ‘incidents’ force Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolašinac to miss season opener
Sport news Aug 10, 2019 at 18:03
(CNN)Two Arsenal football club players will not travel with the team to play against Newcastle United on Sunday, after the club withdrew them over security concerns.
Arsenal said in a statement Friday that Mesut Özil and Sead Kolašinac weren’t traveling because the pair had been subjected to “further security incidents which are being investigated by the police.”
Özil and Kolašinac were subjects of what appeared to be an attempted robbery in London in July. Dramatic CCTV video showed Özil and Kolašinac being approached by masked men who had pulled alongside their vehicle on a moped in north London.
The video was shared widely on social media, and showed Kolašinac leaping out of the car to confront both men, before chasing them away.
Following the confrontation, London’s Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) released an incident report detailing an attempted robbery, but didn’t release the names of the victims. It was widely reported that the attackers brandished knives, but police did not comment on that detail.
Arsenal said in a statement that both the players were “fine” after the incident.
On Friday, the English Premier League club said: “The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority and we have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives.”
“We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support,” it added.
When asked about the further security incidents involving the two players, the MPS told CNN that it was “in contact with Arsenal FC and will investigate any offenses reported appropriately.”
Arsenal said Friday that the club would not be making any further comments on the matter.
Özil has made 231 appearances for the Gunners since joining in 2013 and has represented Germany 92 times.
He recently retired from international duty, citing criticism from the media and the German football federation president that struck him as racist.
In June, Özil married his wife, former Miss Turkey Amine Gulse, in Istanbul — with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his wife on hand as the legal witnesses.
Meanwhile, Kolašinac has played 72 times for Arsenal over the last two seasons. The Bosnian is known for his tough defending and tenacious attitude on the pitch.