Ozil, Kolasinac miss Arsenal opener due to 'security incidents'

Duo will not play for Arsenal in Sunday's match at Newcastle due to 'further security incidents', London club says.

    Sead Kolasinac, left, and Mesut Ozil, right, escaped an attempted carjacking in late July in London [Michael Regan/Getty Images]
    Sead Kolasinac, left, and Mesut Ozil, right, escaped an attempted carjacking in late July in London [Michael Regan/Getty Images]

    Arsenal has left Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac out of the squad for its English Premier League season opener due to ongoing "security incidents", the London club said. 

    The pair escaped unharmed from an attempted carjacking last month, when Kolasinac, a 26-year-old Bosnian international, fought off armed men attempting to steal Ozil's car.

    In a statement on Friday, Arsenal said the two players would not be travelling to Newcastle for Sunday's match "following further security incidents which are being investigated by the police".

    "The welfare of our players and their families is always a top priority and we have taken this decision following discussion with the players and their representatives," it said.

    "We're liaising with the police and are providing the players and their families with ongoing support," Arsenal said, adding: "We look forward to welcoming the players back to the squad as soon as possible."

    On July 25, Ozil, a 30-year-old former German international, was boxed in while driving by motorbike riders wearing helmets in north London.

    A video clip of the incident showed Kolasinac, who was a passenger in the car, jumping out of the vehicle to confront the masked aggressors. 

    In the footage, the riders were seen to be armed and were filmed brandishing knives at Kolasinac.

    Leaving his car, Ozil ran into a Turkish restaurant as Kolasinac attempted to take on one of the assailants.

    Waiters and chefs from the Likya restaurant rushed to the aid of the football stars forcing the gang to flee empty-handed, the Daily Mail reported at the time.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies