Arsenal′s Özil, Kolasinac to miss season opener after ′further security incidents′ | News | DW | 09.08.2019
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Arsenal's Özil, Kolasinac to miss season opener after 'further security incidents'

Arsenal said the duo would not play in the squad's first Premier League match, citing the players' safety following "further security incidents." This follows a carjacking attempt fended off by Kolasinac two weeks ago.

(FILE) Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil pictured on 1 May 2019 (picture-alliance/PA Wire/N. French)

(FILE) Sead Kolasinac and Mesut Özil pictured on 1 May 2019 (picture-alliance/PA Wire/N. French)

Arsenal stars Mesut Özil and Sead Kolasinac will not play in the team's Premier League opener this weekend because of "further security incidents" involving the police, according to a statement from the club on Friday. This follows the players' making international headlines two weeks ago, when they were the victim of an attempted carjacking, only for Kolasinac to fend off the attackers with the help of passersby.

"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," according to the statement, which noted that the latest incidents were being investigated by police. 

"We are liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support," the statement read. The team anticipates welcoming the players back to the squad "as soon as possible."

Arsenal travels north to face off against Newcastle on Sunday.

Both Kolasinac and Özil, an attacking midfielder and one of Germany's 2014 World Cup winners, played for the Gunners in a friendly against Barcelona last weekend. 

Attempted carjacking

The two German-born players were targeted while in their Mercedes by masked individuals in North London on July 25. The duo escaped physically unharmed. 

In surveillance video that later circulated online, Kolasinac — a left back with the Bosnian national team — is seen fending off masked, knife-wielding men on a motorbike. That investigation is ongoing. 

Arsenal made no mention as to the nature of the further security incidents, concluding by saying: "We will not be making any further comment on the matter."

stb/msh (AP, Reuters)

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