Theo Walcott ruled out for six months
Arsenal forward looks likely to miss World Cup in June after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury
Arsenal’s Theo Walcott salutes the Tottenham Hotspur fans as he is carried off injured at Emirates stadium in London, last Saturday.Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA
Tottenham Hotspur supporters react as Arsenal’s Theo Walcott is stretchered off the pitch during their English FA Cup soccer match at Emirates Stadium. Photograph: Dylan Martinez/Reuters
Arsenal’s Theo Walcott has been ruled out for the rest of the season – and the World Cup finals in Brazil – after suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury during the FA Cup third round win over Tottenham on Saturday.
An Arsenal statement read: “After coming off injured in Saturday’s 2-0 win against Tottenham Hotspur, the club regrettably announces that Theo Walcott has sustained a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament of his left knee.
“Theo will have surgery in London in the near future and is expected to be out for at least six months, therefore missing the remainder of the season and the World Cup in Brazil in the summer. Everyone at Arsenal wishes Theo a speedy recovery and we look forward to seeing him back on a football pitch as soon as possible.”
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Walcott learned earlier today that he will not face an FA charge for his gesture to Tottenham fans on Saturday evening.
Having played a key role in a dominant Arsenal performance the England man was subjected to verbal abuse and a volley of coins from the away end when being stretchered from the pitch with his knee injury. His response was to remind the Spurs support of the score at the time, with a ‘2-0’ hand gesture that prompted further fury from the visiting support and speculation as to whether he would face disciplinary action.
However, the FA has instead merely “reminded him of his responsibilities”.
The FA has also “contacted both Arsenal and Tottenham to seek their observations in relation to objects being thrown from both a home and away section of the crowd at different times during Saturday’s FA Cup tie.”
A statement added: “The FA condemns any such acts and will liaise with both clubs and the Metropolitan Police to identify those responsible and support the strongest sanctions available, including life bans.”
Two of the ambulance workers pelted by coins and projectiles thrown by Tottenham fans are Spurs supporters themselves, it has emerged.
Daniel Ahmed and Anthony Archer work for the London Ambulance Service but were hired by Arsenal for the match. Photos were posted of them on Facebook helping stretcher Walcott off the pitch and the pair joked with friends about the incident on the social networking site.
Ahmed appeared to take the incident in good humour, posting under one photo: “Little does he (Walcott) know he has a Leeds fan and TWO spurs fans protecting him. We truly are professionals.” When asked by a friend why neither of them were smiling in the photo, Ahmed replied: “We were being Pelted by coins!!! It hurts!!” Archer later posted under the photo: “Can’t believe our own fans!! Dan gets concussion and I end up with a dodgy knee! Cheers Theo!”
Guardian Service and Agencies