West Ham United forward Marko Arnautovic has been given a reprieve by the Austrian FA after they today released a statement confirming he will continue as the national team captain.
There have been calls for the West Ham star to be stripped of the honour after he was pictured with Edin Dzeko out late at night following Austria’s 1-0 loss to Bosnia last month.
The West Ham player was snapped at 3am, and it led to controversy, with Austria boss Franco Foda at the time quoted as saying: “After the game, as usual, there was a medical check-up for all players, if everyone is fit, that’s the rule. After that, one or two players were dismissed, as some were to travel back in the morning. This includes Marko Arnautovic. I believe that his flight departed from Sarajevo at 7am.
“He did not go back to the hotel with us, like one or two others. In that sense, it was no longer my responsibility.
“He’s old enough, grown up, has kids, and he knows what he’s doing. Everything else you have to ask him.”
Laola1 have reported on the statement released by OFB regarding Arnautovic’s future as captain: “The decision on the team captain is taken exclusively by the team leader. The executives are behind his decision and the entire squad, especially for Marko Arnautovic, who for 10 years has given everything for the Austrian national team.”
It now looks certain Arnautovic will lead out his country when Austria take on Northern Ireland on Friday night, followed by their clash with Denmark next week.
The 29 year old will be looking to take his recent West Ham form into both games after scoring 4 goals in 7 Premier League games this season.
Arnautovic has become the focal point in the West Ham attack which has helped summer signings Felipe Anderson and Andriy Yarmolenko make an impact in the past few weeks.