PSG full-back barred from entering UK for Champions League match against Arsenal

French champions react in statement

BY Raf Diallo 15:19 Tuesday 22 November 2016, 15:19 22 Nov 2016

Image: Christophe Ena / AP/Press Association Images

Paris Saint-Germain's Serge Aurier will miss their Champions League game with Arsenal on Wednesday night after being refused entry into the UK.

The French club says British authorities originally granted him an entry visa but this was revoked last week as he is legally disqualified from travelling to the UK due to a pending trial.

He had been sentenced to two months in jail and fined €600 but launched an appeal.

However, as The Guardian reported, the sentence would unlikely have seen Aurier spend any time behind bars.

The Ivorian international, who won the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations with his country, is charged with assaulting a police officer back in May.

In a statement, PSG reacted to the development: 

"After an initial application on 18 October, complete with all the necessary documents, the British authorities had originally granted Paris Saint-Germain's Côte d'Ivoire international an entry visa to the UK on 21 October. However, on 16 November, his visa was finally revoked by the British Ministry of the Interior, who justified their about-face by citing Aurier's conviction on 30 September, 2016. Paris Saint-Germain had, in all transparency, informed the British authorities of this conviction, as well as Aurier's appeal against this decision (and the legal suspension of the ruling) from the outset.

"The club has argued several times that since the player has launched a legal appeal against the criminal ruling, he is therefore entitled to the presumption of innocence, as any other person exercising their right to appeal. Paris Saint-Germain strongly regrets that the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain's decision. On several occasions, UEFA has also transmitted its total support of Paris Saint-Germain to the British authorities regarding this case, in order to preserve the integrity of its competitions.

"The club also deplores that the final decision of the British authorities was only communicated at 14:00 CET on Tuesday, despite the club working for the last six days to find a solution to enable our player to travel with his teammates to London. Paris Saint-Germain considers this extremely tardive response as a flagrant lack of respect for the club, given that its player could have been training with the team just hours later at Emirates Stadium. In the face of this decision, albeit difficult to understand in respect to European law, Paris Saint-Germain, who had planned to travel to London with its strongest possible squad, invites its fans to be more united than ever, in support of their club."

Aurier was suspended by PSG in February after footage emerged of him insulting his then manager Laurent Blanc as well as team-mates.


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