Monday, 19 August, 2019

'Security incidents' see Ozil, Kolasinac miss Arsenal opener

Arsenal defender Sead Kolasinac right celebrates with Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil left at the end of the Europa League semifinal soccer match second leg between Valencia and Arsenal at the Camp de Me Arsenal's Ozil and Kolasinac'Under 24 Hour Guard After Knife Wielding Carjacking Attempt- Reports
Shannon Reynolds | 12 August, 2019, 15:57

Arsenal head coach Unai Emery has admitted that he is not sure if Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac will feature in next week's Premier League clash with Burnley. As the players tried to drive away, they were chased through the streets of London in a high-speed pursuit until the Arsenal stars and their wives reached a nearby Turkish restaurant, where the staff helped them to scare the gang away.

Another factor could be that the lack of first-team opportunities comes into play as well and that is also a real possibility that Ozil will have to weigh up.

Following the July carjacking attempt, a gang of East Europeans has allegedly stepped in to protect the footballers, having warned rival North London thugs that attacks on them would not be tolerated, The Sun reported on Saturday.

While that may have been the case on the day, it seems the incident is far from over.

Kolasinac, a no-nonsense 6ft Bosnian worldwide, was born in Germany to refugee parents who fled the hardships of the war in their Balkan homeland.

A report on Saturday by Goal stated that two men were arrested outside of Ozil's home on Thursday night in connection to different incidents which led to the decision to withdraw the players from the weekend's squad.

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"Ferhat Ercan, 27, and Salaman Ekinci, 27, were charged on August 9 following the incident and are due to appear at Highbury Corner Magistrates Court on September 6".

Section 4a of the Public Order Act refers to offences of intentional harassment, alarm or distress, through threatening, abusive or insulting words, behaviour or displays.

Arsenal said on Friday the players had been left out of Sunday's game following "further security incidents which are being investigated by the police".

'We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support. "We look forward to welcoming the players back to the squad as soon as possible." the statement by Arsenal on its website.

It was an unwelcome and entirely unexpected issue for Emery to deal with as Arsenal started the campaign, but it was clearly inappropriate for the players to be separated from their families and stay in Newcastle while feeling under threat.

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