Red-carded Pepe sorry for letting Arsenal down

LONDON • Arsenal winger Nicolas Pepe has apologised after being sent off for headbutting Leeds defender Ezgjan Alioski in Sunday's goal-less draw in the Premier League.

He was red-carded in the 51st minute after VAR (video assistant referee) officials spotted the incident.

"I let my team down at a crucial time of the game and there are no excuses for my behaviour," the 25-year-old Ivory Coast international wrote on Instagram.

"I am deeply sorry and would like to apologise to the fans, my teammates, my coach and everyone else at the club."

Pepe and Macedonian Alioski were racially abused on social media, and Arsenal and Leeds said they would work with the authorities to trace those responsible.

"We utterly condemn the vile abuse directed at Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski on social media following our match against Leeds United," the Gunners said in a statement.

"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 released a similar statement, saying they would not tolerate such abuse.

Pepe will miss Arsenal's next three Premier League matches against Wolves, Tottenham and Burnley but could feature in tomorrow's Europa League game at Molde.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 25, 2020, with the headline 'Red-carded Pepe sorry for letting Arsenal down'. Print Edition | Subscribe