Arsenal’s Xhaka flies into new storm over alleged racist abuse at airport

January 25 – Arsenal’s Swiss international midfielder Granit Xhaka has been interviewed under caution by police following an allegation that he racially abused an airline staff member at Heathrow airport.

Xhaka was apparently seeing off a German footballing friend who was refused entry on to a flight to Germany after arriving late for boarding. It is at this point that the racial abuse is alleged to have occurred.

Arsenal have declined to comment other than to say it is a private matter that is now in the hands of the police.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police told the BBC: “Police were called at 19:29 GMT on Monday, 23 January following an allegation that a member of staff had been racially abused at Heathrow Airport, Terminal Five.

“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. Enquires continue.”

The incident occurred just over 24 hours after Xhaka, who cost Arsenal £32.5 million but has a reputation for being hot-tempered at times, was sent off during his team’s 2-1 win over Burnley in the Premier League.

Newspapers reports that he racially abused a member of staff by saying ‘f—— white b—–’ in German, at which point airport security and police were called. Xhaka, who was born in Switzerland to Kosovo Albanian parents, was then cautioned and taken to a west London police station for questioning. He disputes the words he is accused of saying and denies saying anything directly to the member of staff.

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