Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil has pleaded guilty to speeding but has pleaded to avoid a driving ban after claiming to have mistaking miles-per-hour for kilometres.
The German, who has not featured for his side since a 1-0 win over West Ham United back in March, was clocked travelling at 97mph as he drove home from training in his Mercedes G-Class on 2 July.
As noted by The Sun, Ozil wrote a letter to magistrates in Bromley to admit that the speed he was travelling at was 'wholly unacceptable', although he claimed that he didn't realise it was so bad as he thought his speedometer was in km/h, which would have meant he was driving close to 60mph.
“When attempting to rationalise my actions, I believe it was the combination of the empty road, with no other vehicles to gauge my vehicles speed against, and the misapprehension that I was travelling kmph rather than mph," Ozil said.
“Due to the COVID-19 restrictions the motorway was effectively empty. The only explanation that I can give is that due to the absence of other vehicles on the road, my concentration must have momentarily lapsed. The vehicle I was driving has very low engine noise and it is automatic transmission.
“I am a German national and I am obviously used to driving vehicles that would display speed in kilometres as compared to miles per hour.”
Clearly fearing that he may be hit with a driving ban, Ozil urged the court to let him off with a fine because of the misunderstanding and the fact that he has no history of driving offences to his name.
“I travel to work on a daily basis by car and have personal commitments and a very young baby daughter (7 months old)," he added. “In the current climate I would be very much against travelling on public transport with my baby daughter.
“My wife does not drive and therefore by necessity I will have to undertake the driving to any healthcare appointments for my daughter.”
2020 has been a pretty rough year for Ozil, who has found himself completely frozen out at the Emirates Stadium. He is yet to make a matchday squad in any competition this season, but at least he'll have plenty of time to prepare for his sentencing later this month.
Source : 90min