Struggling English Premier League side Arsenal on Tuesday announced that it has stripped midfielder Granit Xhaka as captain of the club.
Xhaka threw his arms up in the air and cupped his ears after his substitution was greeted by boos during their 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.
He was also seen mouthing “f*** off” at the Arsenal fans and removed his shirt before storming down the tunnel.
Arsenal manager Unai Emery had called on his captain to issue an apology to the fans, with many pundits urging the club to strip him of his captaincy.
The Switzerland captain, however, released a statement on Thursday explaining why he reacted that way to Arsenal fans.
Xhaka claimed that the life of his wife and child was threatened by some fans of Arsenal.
Speaking on Tuesday ahead of the Gunners Europa League match against Vitoria SC, Unai Emery revealed that Xhaka was no longer part of the Gunners’ leadership group adding that Xhaka “accepted” the decision.
“I have spoken to Granit and he is no longer one of the captains in the group,” Emery said.
Asked if Xhaka will ever play for Arsenal again, the Gunners’ boss didn’t give a clear answer.
“The future is Arsenal’s future. We have a very important match on Saturday,” he said.
“We need to take some decisions… My focus is for tomorrow.
“He is our player, we want to respect him.”
Emery also confirmed that Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has taken over as club captain.