Less than two hours before Arsenal's huge FA Cup tie against Liverpool, striker Olivier Giroud has issued a public apology for apparently cheating on his wife and breaking the club's rules while doing so.
After a week of rumour and speculation about his personal life, Giroud dramatically took to Twitter to beg for forgiveness after his alleged infidelities were exposed by The Sun on Sunday.
Last weekend, under the headline 'Gunners ace in 3am romp at team hotel', the Irish edition of the paper reported that Giroud "romped with a model in the team hotel at 3am - hours before a match."
For a week there was no statement from Giroud, but the France international was the subject of yet more lurid headlines on Sunday as the Sun published photos related to the alleged affair.
As the paper reported:
WE have proof a married Arsenal player romped with a bikini model in the team hotel just hours before a match.
Last week we told how the player persuaded the 34D beauty to sneak into his room despite strict orders from manager Arsene Wenger about early nights.
She said: "He didn't seem to care about the match at all. He asked me to stay the night - he is totally crazy."
Arsenal planned to fine the star up to £230,000 but relented after he scotched our report. His lawyers wrote a series of letters denying wrongdoing.
After the paper's latest revelations, though, a chastened Giroud apologised to his club and to his family on Twitter.
I apologise to my wife, family and friends and my manager, team-mates and Arsenal fans.
I now have to fight for my family and for my club and obtain their forgiveness. Nothing else matters at the moment. — Olivier Giroud (@_OlivierGiroud_) February 16, 2014
Giroud's apology is hardly the preparation Arsenal were hoping for prior to their big FA Cup showdown with Liverpool.