Laurent Koscielny announces retirement and former Arsenal captain denies accusations of racism by Bordeaux ultras

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Laurent Koscielny has called time on his playing career aged 36, hanging up his boots amid accusations of racism by Bordeaux’s ultras – which he strongly denies.

The former Arsenal captain has been a free agent for two months after leaving Bordeaux in January, and has released a statement saying the allegations of racism have left him ‘shocked’.

The 36-year-old left the French side in January having spent two-and-a-half seasons at the club

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The 36-year-old left the French side in January having spent two-and-a-half seasons at the club

In a career that lasted nearly 18 years, Koscielny’s finale ended on a slightly sour note and being frozen out of the team towards the end of his spell at Bordeaux.

The best part of his career was spent at the Emirates Stadium where he made 353 appearances that spanned nine seasons.

He also helped the club secure three FA Cups and as many Community Shields.

His departure from Arsenal also ended on a sad note after refusing to join the club on a pre-season tour to the US.

Now he is refuting claims after French publication Sud Ouest reported that he and teammate Benoit Costil are being accused by the club’s ultras, UB87, of a lack of leadership and of ‘scandalous, sometimes racist’ behavior.

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.

7. Laurent Koscielny - Signed for £ 10million in 2010 from Lorient

Koscielny’s best season arguably came in 2015/16 where he kept 15 clean sheets in 33 league games

“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 behavior 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.

“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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Koscielny was blasted for his 'disgusting' and 'disrespectful' Bordeaux reveal video in which he took off an Arsenal shirt

@girondins on Twitter

Koscielny was blasted for his ‘disgusting’ and ‘disrespectful’ Bordeaux reveal video in which he took off an Arsenal shirt

“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’.”

Koscielny left Arsenal under a cloud in 2019 after refusing to travel with the rest of the team to the club’s pre-season tour of the United States, in order to force a move to France.

Arsenal said in a statement at the time they were ‘very disappointed’ with the former captain’s behavior after ‘going against our clear instructions’.

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