In Brief

Arsenal stars filmed allegedly inhaling ‘hippy crack’ gas during wild party

The Sun claims that Gunners players Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil were leading the fun

A group of Arsenal players allegedly passed out on nitrous oxide gas during what The Sun describes as a “wild champagne and vodka party” in a nightclub in London’s West End.

Better known as “hippy crack”, the gas is legitimately employed to relieve pain in dental procedures, but that seems unlikely to be the aim of its apparent use during the football stars’ raucous evening in August, during pre-season.

Pass master to pass out

In footage handed to The Sun, Matteo Guendouzi appears to pass out after sucking up the gas, while Alexandre Lacazette “looks oblivious to his surroundings as he inhales deeply from a balloon while lolling back on a plush sofa”.

Sead Kolasinac and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang are also seen to inhale, as is Mesut Ozil, who “is seen with his eyes rolling as he falls semi-conscious with a gas-filled balloon in his mouth”, according to the newspaper. Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Shkodran Mustafi also appear in the footage but do not indulge in the balloon larks.

Once known as “laughing gas”, nitrous oxide can lead to oxygen deprivation. Last year the NHS published a leaflet warning: “There is a risk of death as a lack of oxygen can occur when using nitrous oxide. This risk is likely to be greater if the gas is consumed in an enclosed space or if a substantial amount is rapidly used.”

Over the balloon

The Sun reports that the Arsenal players invited 70 women to join their private party at the exclusive Tape club, “where the stars ran up a bill of between £25,000 and £30,000”.

All of the guests were instructed to hand their mobile phones to security staff before being allowed into the basement members’ room.

One guest told the paper: “Boxes of ‘hippy crack’ canisters were brought in and the players were blowing up balloons and inhaling.

“They were off their heads on the gas - some of them appeared to pass out… it got more raucous as the drink flowed. Several left with girls in black Mercedes people carriers as it wound up at around 4am.”

Emery ‘will be outraged’

The party took place shortly before the start of the Premier League season, a campaign in which the Gunners lost their opening two matches to Manchester City and Chelsea. They haven’t been beaten since.

The Sun alleges that Aubameyang and Ozil were leading the fun, egging on younger players such as the 19-year-old Guendouzi to try a gas-filled balloon.

At one point in the video, German midfielder Ozil is seen handing a balloon to Mkhitaryan but he “raises his hand to decline the offer and is seen sucking a lolly from a sweet bowl”.

There has been no official reaction from Arsenal to the footage but a source told The Sun that manager Unai Emery is a stickler for healthy living.

“God knows how he’ll feel about them bingeing on hippy crack and vodka,” the source said. “He surely can’t ignore this sort of behaviour, particularly from senior members of the squad.”

Gunners will speak to players

In response to the Sun’s front page story, which was headlined “High Goon”, Arsenal have issued a statement.

Quoted by The Guardian, an Arsenal spokesperson said: “The players will be spoken to about this and reminded of their responsibilities as representatives of the club.”

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