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Arsene Wenger back in spotlight over 'suicidal' comments

By Ivan Little

Published 12/11/2016

Criticised: Arsene Wenger
Criticised: Arsene Wenger

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who previously apologised to angry relatives of suicide victims for using the word 'suicidal' to describe his team's defending, has repeated the "offensive" phrase in a new row over one of his players.

The Frenchman lashed out at Chile after the South Americans said they hoped to play Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez in a World Cup qualifier against Uruguay next week, despite the fact that the star limped out of training earlier this week with a suspected calf tear.

Wenger told the beIN Sports network that he had been informed the injury was actually to the 27-year-old's hamstring and said he wanted to make sure that the Chileans did not take any "suicidal decision that could harm his future for two or three months".

In February last year, Wenger said his team's defending in a shock 3-1 European defeat by Monaco was "suicidal", prompting the brother of a suicide victim in Belfast to protest to the London club.

Roy Scott, whose younger brother, Greg, died by suicide in August 2008, said the manager's language had been insensitive and heartless, adding that what happened on a football field could not be compared in any way to a real-life tragedy.

Officials from the emailed Mr Scott to say that their manager had been spoken to about his use of the word and added: "He was upset to hear about the impact his language had and he sends his apologies."

However, 18 months on, Wenger has used the word once again in relation to a footballing issue.

East Belfast man Bobby Cosgrove, who lost his 16-year-old son, Richard, to suicide nearly 28 years ago, said: "Mr Wenger's apology didn't mean a lot

"I thought he would have learnt a salutary lesson from the last time, but here he is causing more distress with another ill-judged statement.

"The timing of this couldn't be worse because the Christmas period is a difficult enough time for all of us who have been bereaved."

Belfast Telegraph

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