Nicolas Pepe has apologised to Arsenal team-mates and supporters after seeing red against Leeds on Sunday in the Premier League.
Pepe was shown a straight red card at Elland Road after headbutting Leeds midfielder Ezgjan Alioski during the second half of Sunday’s goalless draw in the Premier League.
The Gunners’ record signing, who was the latest target of vile online racist abuse following his sending off, has since issued an apology on social media – insisting there are no excuses for his actions.
Pepe wrote on Instagram: ‘Yesterday I have let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there is no excuses for my behaviour.
‘I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my team-mates, my coach and everyone else at the club.’
Pepe’s hot-headed moment occurred just six minutes into the second half at Elland Road with the match finely in the balance.
Leeds pushed for the all-important winner but the Gunners held to firm to walk away with a point on Sunday.
Following the match, both Pepe and Alioski were the subjects of abuse on social media.
Former England and Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips posted a screenshot of some of the abuse subsequently aimed at Pepe – which included him being called a ‘n*****’ on several occasions – on Twitter and said: ‘And Twitter say they are protecting people from racial abuse! When is it enough and when will it stop?!?’
North Macedonia international Alioski was also subjected to online abuse and both Arsenal and Leeds have since come out to slam the abusive comments and insist they are working with police and relevant authorities to search for those involved.
An Arsenal club statement read: ‘We utterly condemn the vile abuse directed at Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski on social media following our match against Leeds.
‘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.’
Leeds were equally as strong in their statement, writing: ‘The vile abuse directed at Ezgjan Alioski and Nicolas Pepe on social media after yesterday’s game with Arsenal will not be tolerated by Leeds United.
‘We will work closely with the police and the footballing authorities to ensure those responsible are identified and punished.’
The Athletic claim the abuse sent to Alioski relates to threats directed towards his family since the game.
What do you think about this song?
We want to hear from you all.Drop your comments