Champions League: PSG star Serge Aurier barred from UK.
Paris Saint-Germain had wanted to include defender Serge Aurier in their squad to play Arsenal in Wednesday’s game but he’s had to stay behind in Paris.
Aurier was granted a UK entry visa in October, but British authorities have since reversed the decision because of the player’s September conviction for assaulting a police officer.
The club argues it informed the UK government of the case from the outset, and says Aurier’s pending appeal should render him innocent until proven guilty.
PSG says it only learned of the decision at 1400 CET Tuesday — despite six days of negotiation to find a solution — and calls the “extremely tardy response” a “flagrant lack of respect for the club.”
“The immigration rules clearly state that non-EU nationals who have received a custodial sentence of less than 12 months within the last five years will be refused on criminality grounds,” the UK Home Office said in a statement.
“All applications are carefully considered on their individual merits, in line with the UK immigration rules and based on evidence provided by the applicant.”
PSG added in a statement: “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, 23, was given a two-month suspended jail sentence and fined 600 euros ($636) for elbowing a police officer after leaving a Paris nightclub in May.
He was also suspended by the club earlier this year for comments about the then-PSG coach Laurent Blanc.
The Ivorian joined PSG on a permanent basis from Toulouse in 2015 and has since made 26 appearances. He has been capped 31 times by the Ivory Coast after making his debut in 2013.
PSG and Arsenal are tied on 10 points at the top of Champions League Group A and are both guaranteed to qualify for the knockout stages.