Paris Saint-Germain have been dealt a blow ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Arsenal after defender Serge Aurier was denied entry to UK.
The defender will miss the game in a decision which has left the French champions furious ahead of the crucial fixture at the Emirates.
Aurier has been denied an entry visa due to an assault conviction handed out in September when he was given a two-month suspended sentence after an incident outside a Paris nightclub.
“Due to a sudden about-face by the British authorities, Serge Aurier has not been allowed to travel with Unai Emery’s squad for the clash away to Arsenal,” read a PSG statement.
“Paris Saint-Germain is stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the UEFA Champions League.”
The French club insist Aurier had originally been granted a visa which has subsequently been revoked and believe he should be considered innocent as he is appealing the conviction.
“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,” the statement continues.
“Paris Saint-Germain strongly regrets that the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain’s decision.
“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 team-mates to London. Paris Saint-Germain considers this extremely tardy 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 started the reverse fixture at Parc des Princes and would have been expected to feature at the Emirates. It’s far to say this late, unexpected development is not what the visitors would have wanted in the build-up to such a crucial game.