- The Sun
- Prominent Arsenal soccer players, including Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil, have been captured on CCTV footage partying and inhaling balloons.
- The video, obtained by The Sun newspaper, was filmed at the exclusive Tape club in London’s West End in August – not long before the Premier League season kicked off.
- Sucking on balloons is a common way to inhale the legal high nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. It can give a short-lived sensation of euphoria.
- Arsenal said the club will talk to the players involved to remind them “of their responsibilities as representatives of the club.”
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Mesut Ozil, two of Arsenal’s best-known soccer players, have been captured on CCTV footage inhaling balloons at a private party in London.
With 10 goals and two assists, Aubameyang is currently the top scorer in the English Premier League. But before the 2018-2019 season kicked off, the Gunners striker reportedly attended an exclusive party that included a number of teammates, balloons, and an expensive bar tab, according to The Sun.
In video footage obtained by the British tabloid, Aubameyang, Ozil, Alexandre Lacazette, Matteo Guendouzi, and Sead Kolasinac appear to be sucking on balloons – a common way of inhaling legal high nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas or hippie crack.
At the start of the video, Ozil is seen leaning back on a leather sofa and inhaling a balloon next to Kolasinac. His teammate Shkodran Mustafi can then be seen dancing into the frame with what appears to be an empty balloon dangling from his mouth.
Later in the clip, Lacazette leans back with a balloon in his mouth, Gendouzi appears to collapse into the sofa, and canisters can be seen on a table in front of the players.
The Sun reports that 70 women were invited to the London party at the Tape nightclub in August, and the bar bill – reportedly including bottles of scotch, vodka, and champagne – cost between £25,000 ($32,000) and £30,000 ($38,000).
Arsenal is yet to respond to Business Insider’s request for comment. A spokesman told The Times: “The players will be spoken to about this and reminded of their responsibilities as representatives of the club.”
Soccer players in England have been seen inhaling balloons before. Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling, his teammate Kyle Walker, and the Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish have previously attracted headlines for inhaling nitrous oxide.
Nitrous oxide is an “anaesthetic gas with pain-relieving properties,” according to Drug Science, an independent scientific committee on drugs.
When the gas is inhaled, it rapidly hits the bloodstream, travels to the brain, and creates a short-lived euphoria. Drug Science says it is “one of the least risky drugs” but health risks can still include brain damage and death.