London: Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe has issued an apology to his fans and teammates after being sent off during the club’s clash against Leeds United.
Pepe took to Instagram and wrote: “Yesterday, I have let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there is no excuses for my behavior. I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club.”
During the match on Sunday, Pepe was given a red card after the Video Assistant Referee (VAR) officials noted that he had head-butted opposition’s Ezgjan Alioski. The incident was not directly spotted, but referee Anthony Taylor had a look at the monitor, and then he sent off Pepe.
Following the incident, both players were subjected to social media abuse. Both clubs, Leeds United and Arsenal, had issued a statement, condemning the abuse aimed at Pepe and Alioski.
“We utterly condemn the vile abuse directed at Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski on social media following our match against Leeds United,” Arsenal had said in an official release.
“This is completely unacceptable and we will be working with the police and authorities to do everything we can to trace and prosecute the culprits,” it had added.
Whereas, Leeds United had said: “The vile abuse directed at Ezgjan Alioski and Nicolas Pepe on social media after yesterday’s game with Arsenal will not be tolerated by #LUFC. We will work closely with the police and the footballing authorities to ensure those responsible are identified and punished.”
The Premier League clash between Arsenal and Leeds United had ended in a goalless draw.