Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny retires after racism allegations from Bordeaux ultras group UB87

Former Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has announced his retirement from football after denying allegations of racism from Bordeaux’s ultras group – UB87.

It is being widely reported that Koscielny and Beniot Costil were accused of “sometimes racist behaviour”, which the duo have since refuted in a statement released on Friday.

Koscielny explained the repercussions that the accusations had on his family, while more than 30 people also implicated have since denied the allegations.

“Without there being any ambiguity, he strongly disputes these accusations which have seriously [damage] him and which have repercussions on his family and those around him.

“In this regard, Laurent Koscielny underlines that the investigative work of the Sud Ouest newspaper which solicited more than thirty people (according to the journalist’s statements) who formally denied the alleged racist behavior of Laurent Koscielny.

“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.”

Koscielny hangs up his boots after winning three FA Cups and three Community Shields with the Gunners, and earning 51 caps for France.

It represents a sour end to his time at Bordeaux, with the defender removed from their playing squad in January due to his high salary and string of poor performances.

It has also been a dismal campaign for ‘Les Girondins,’ who currently sit bottom of the Ligue 1 table with only 22 points from 29 games.