Granit Xhaka has been stripped of the Arsenal captaincy.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery confirmed on Tuesday evening that the armband has been taken off the Swiss midfielder. The decision was made after Xhaka’s outburst towards Gunners fans at the Emirates.
The Swiss midfielder was booed by Arsenal supporters when substituted off against Crystal Palace in a match at the end of October.
Xhaka reacted angrily and could be seen telling them to “f**k off” before he took off his jersey and made his way down the tunnel.
Emery called on Xhaka to apologise, but he instead released a statement explaining why he reacted the way did, outlining the awful abuse he and his family have been subjected to in recent months.
“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,” he wrote.
“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’.
“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.”
Xhaka was not part of Arsenal’s squad for their 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday and has not travelled with the squad for their Europa League tie against Vitoria on Wednesday.
In his pre-match press conference on Tuesday, Emery stated that he has stripped the Swiss midfielder of the captaincy and that Xhaka has “accepted” the decision.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is the club’s new captain.