London: Arsenal's French striker Olivier Giroud issued an apology on Sunday after a British tabloid newspaper alleged that he had an extra-marital affair.
The Sun on Sunday claimed that Giroud spent a night in a hotel with lingerie model Celia Kay prior to Arsenal's 2-0 home win over Crystal Palace in the Premier League earlier this month.
The article was accompanied by a photograph, reportedly taken by Kay, which apparently showed Giroud in his underpants in a hotel room.
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud.Pic/AFP
"I apologise to my wife, family and friends and my manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans," Giroud wrote on his Twitter account.
"I now have to fight for my family and for my club and obtain their forgiveness. Nothing else matters at the moment."
His partner Jennifer later received a torrent of tweets, offering advice on how to deal with the situation. However, she decided to close the account in a bid to keep her private life away from the watching public.
Giroud, 27, is Arsenal's first-choice centre-forward and is also a key player for the France national side.
He was named on the substitutes bench for Arsenal's 2-1 win at home to Liverpool in the FA Cup on Sunday and came on as an 88th-minute substitute for Yaya Sanogo.
Speaking after the game, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said that the club would address the matter behind closed doors.
"He has made a statement and for the rest, we'll deal with it internally," he told journalists at the Emirates Stadium.
"I don't think there's much more to add to that because I want to respect his privacy as well."