Wilshere Faces Fine Over Shisha-smoking Picture

Published: 06th February 2015 10:27 AM  |   Last Updated: 06th February 2015 10:27 AM   |  A+A-


Jack Wilshere is facing a reprimand from Arsene Wenger and will again be reminded of his responsibilities after being photographed with a shisha pipe in a nightclub.

The Arsenal and England midfielder has twice previously been pictured smoking and there is considerable exasperation inside his club at another similar incident, especially as the 23-year-old is in the final stages of recovery from ankle surgery.

Wilshere may face a club fine, although Wenger will give his player the chance to fully explain his side of the incident.

Wilshere has been photographed with three young women and a shisha pipe on an image that was published on Instagram and then removed before being subsequently reposted on Twitter on Wednesday night. It is understood that the picture was taken at the Sports Bar and Grill in Piccadilly.

It also follows goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny being fined last month for lighting up a cigarette in the dressing room after the 2-0 defeat by Southampton.

Wilshere, who has not played since November, is ahead of schedule in his recovery from ankle surgery and will return to full training on Sunday.

Wilshere's previous smoking incidents occurred outside a London nightclub in October 2013 and then at a Las Vegas pool party last summer. Speaking in July, he said: "The smoking? Of course I regret it. I have been seen before doing it. I said then I made a mistake and I have made a mistake again. People make mistakes. I am young and I will learn from it. I realise the consequences it has and the effect on kids growing up.

"I have kids myself and I don't want them growing up to think their dad smokes and it is OK for a footballer to smoke, because it's not. It is unacceptable and I will accept the consequences and I will move on."

Although there is a perception that smoking a shisha pipe has less serious health consequences than smoking a cigarette, the advice from the British Heart Foundation is unequivocal. "When you smoke shisha, you and anyone sitting near you are breathing in smoke which releases toxins including carbon monoxide and heavy metals - reducing your body's ability to carry oxygen around in your blood," it says.

"The average shisha-smoking session lasts an hour and research has shown that in this time you can inhale the same amount of smoke as from more than 100 cigarettes. Some people mistakenly think that shisha smoking is not addictive because the water used in the pipe can absorb nicotine. In reality, because only some of the nicotine is absorbed by the water, shisha smokers are still exposed to enough nicotine to cause an addiction."

It is unclear whether Wilshere actually smoked the shisha but, although Wenger is generally understanding of the players' human mistakes, he is certain to be unimpressed. He will address the issue at today's press conference ahead of tomorrow's game against Tottenham.

England manager Roy Hodgson is understood to be relaxed about the pictures of Wilshere, and does not consider it a matter of concern.

Wilshere is not in contention for the north London derby, while Alexis Sanchez is also still out with the hamstring injury that meant he missed the 5-0 win against Aston Villa last week.

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