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Arsenal Captain Xhaka Releases Statement Following Confrontation

LONDON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 27: Arsenal head coach Unai Emery watches as Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka takes off his shirt and walks straight down the tunnel after being substituted during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and Crystal Palace at Emirates Stadium on October 27, 2019 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mark Leech/Offside/Offside via Getty Images)

Arsenal captain Granit Xhaka has released a lengthy statement following his confrontation with fans following his side’s draw with Crystal Palace on Sunday.

The 27-year-old was booed off the pitch by Arsenal supporters at the Emirates Stadium prompting him to cup his ear and appeared to curse at the crowd.

Arsenal manager Unai Emery has called for Xhaka to apologise while insisting that he would remain as captain.

On Thursday, the Swiss captain said that he had “reached boiling point” which caused him to react badly.

The statement in full reads:

“After taking some time to reflect on what happened on Sunday afternoon, I would like to give you an explanation rather than just a quick response.

“The scenes that took place around my substitution have moved me deeply. I love this club and always give 100% on and off the pitch.

“My feeling of not being understood by fans, and repeated abusive comments at matches and in social media over the last weeks and months have me deeply.

“People have said things like “We will break your legs”, “Kill your wife” and “Wish that your daughter gets cancer”.

“That has stirred me up and I reached boiling point when I felt the rejection in the stadium on Sunday.

“In this situation, I let myself be carried away and reacted in a way that disrespected the group of fans that support our club, our team and myself with positive energy.

“That has not been my intention and I’m sorry if that’s what people thought.

“My wish is that we get back to a place of mutual respect, remembering why we fell in love with this game in the first place.

“Let’s move forward positively together. Granit.”

Arsenal welcome Wolves to the Emirates on Sunday afternoon (kick-off 3pm). Emery’s side currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, 12 points behind leaders, Liverpool.

About Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at marisa@punditarena.com or on Twitter