Arsenal stripped Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of the captaincy to “defend the interests” of the club, says manager Mikel Arteta.
Aubameyang, 32, was removed as skipper after his “latest disciplinary breach”.
The Gabon striker, who was dropped for Saturday’s 3-0 Premier League win over Southampton, will not be considered for Wednesday’s game against West Ham.
“We have made this decision that unfortunately is a really tough one,” said Arteta.
“If I had to choose I wouldn’t like to be sitting here talking about it, but we had to do it.
“When we have to make that decision, it’s because it’s the right one to defend the interests of the football club.”
Arteta has not disclosed how Aubameyang broke the rules, but The Athletic reported that he returned late from an authorised trip abroad.
Aubameyang was dropped for disciplinary reasons in March, missing the win over rivals Tottenham for a “breach of pre-match protocol”.
Asked when Aubameyang might return to the squad, Arteta said: “For now, it’s been a lot to digest and a really difficult decision to make, so we need a bit of time.
“It was really hurting and he needs a bit of time to heal.”
On his relationship with Aubameyang, Arteta said: “Since I have been here, really good – that’s what is painful.”
Aubameyang took over as captain in November 2019 after midfielder Granit Xhaka was relieved of the job by then boss Unai Emery.