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Ex-Arsenal captain Koscielny retires from football over racism allegations


A former Arsenal captain, Laurent Koscielny, has retired from football at the age of 36 over allegations of racism.

Koscielny who last played for French Ligue 1 side, Bordeaux, left the club in January after he was frozen out alongside team-mate Benoit Costil.

UK Sun reported that the former France international was accused of a lack of leadership and “scandalous, sometimes racist” behaviour by Bordeaux’s ultras – accusations Koscielny strongly denies.

A statement read: “Following the article published in the Sud Ouest newspaper on March 22, 2022 entitled ‘Girondins de Bordeaux. Costil and Koscielny, accusations of racism that shake’, Laurent Koscielny was surprised, shocked but also saddened by the remarks made by one of the representatives of the Ultramarines 87 Group against him, which the press is now echoing.

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“Without there being any ambiguity, he strongly disputes these accusations which have seriously [damage] him and which have repercussions on his family and those around him.

“In this regard, Laurent Koscielny underlines that the investigative work of the Sud Ouest newspaper which solicited more than thirty people (according to the journalist’s statements) who formally denied the alleged racist behaviour of Laurent Koscielny.

“As a reminder, if Laurent Koscielny has not been part of the professional staff of the club since the end of January 2022, he recalls that he is still an employee of the Girondins de Bordeaux.

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“On this point, Laurent Koscielny intends to specify that he has decided to hang up his [boots] when he would have preferred to help the club on the [pitch].

“Aware that the club was in difficulty, he accepted the proposal made to occupy a new [role] and to release [his] salary [as] proof of the concern he has for the best interests of the club.

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“As such, he would like to thank the club for the mark of confidence shown in him by entrusting him with this position.

“This mission is the extension of a career that has commanded the respect of all of his partners, coaches and staff that he has worked with both in the club and in the France team.

“Laurent Koscielny also shares the club’s position, which recalled in its press release that ‘no document aimed at supporting these allegations has been brought to the attention of the Club, which in principle intends to exercise the greatest caution.'”