Football: Arsenal's Granit Xhaka in 'racism' probe, say London police

Arsenal's Granit Xhaka has been interviewed by police over an allegation he racially abused a staff member at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday (Jan 23).
Arsenal's Granit Xhaka has been interviewed by police over an allegation he racially abused a staff member at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday (Jan 23).PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (AFP) - Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka has been interviewed by police over an allegation he racially abused a staff member at London's Heathrow Airport on Monday.

The 24-year-old Switzerland international was not arrested but voluntarily attended a nearby police station after the incident was reported by a third party.

According to British media reports, Xhaka, shown a red card in Arsenal's 2-1 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Sunday, was seeing off a friend when the alleged incident took place.

"Police were called at 19:29 (1929 GMT) on Monday, 23 January following an allegation that a member of staff had been racially abused at Heathrow Airport, Terminal Five," said a statement issued by London's Metropolitan force on Tuesday.

"The allegation was made by a third party.

"Officers attended and spoke with a man in his 20s. He was not arrested. He voluntarily attended a west London police station where he was interviewed under caution. Enquiries continue."

Arsenal responded to the incident by saying: "This is a private matter which is in the hands of the police."

Xhaka joined Arsenal from German Bundesliga club Borussia Monchengladbach for a fee in excess of £30 million (S$53.4 million) in pre-season.

Sunday's dismissal came just when he was starting to put a run of games together in the Gunners' first team, but he is now set to serve a four-match ban following his second red card this season.