Laurent KoscielnyGetty

Ex-Arsenal man Koscielny announces retirement and refutes allegations of racism

Former Arsenal star Laurent Koscielny has officially announced his retirement from football and denied accusations that he exhibited racist behaviour.

The French defender went back to his home nation after leaving England in 2019, featuring for Bordeaux in Ligue 1.

At the age of 36, his retirement is not entirely shocking - but his statement and the manner of it caught many off guard.

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What has been said?

A statement reads: "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.

"Without there being any ambiguity, he strongly disputes these accusations which have seriously damaged him and which have repercussions on his family and those around him.

"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.

"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 team-mates, 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’."

A look back at Koscielny's career

Koscielny made most of his appearances for Arsenal, playing 353 matches over a spell of roughly nine years, after being bought from Lorient for around £11 million ($15m).

He racked up 27 goals across all competitions with the Gunners, while contributing 5 assists.

He won the FA Cup on three occasions while in north London, while also picking up two Community Shields and reaching the Europa League final in 2018-19.

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