In a turn of events that could prove crucial for their Champions League future, Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier was banned from traveling to England by British authorities for Wednesday’s Champions League match against Arsenal.
Aurier has been denied an entry visa because of a September assault conviction for allegedly elbowing a policeman in the throat after being asked to take a breathalyzer test as he got into his car outside a nightclub on the Champs Elysées in Paris.
PSG released a scathing statement on the decision, defending their 23-year-old Ivorian fullback: “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. Paris Saint-Germain is stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the UEFA Champions League.”
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“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.”
PSG also decried the timing of this decision “despite the club working for the last six days to find a solution to enable our player to travel with his teammates to London,” calling it a “flagrant lack of respect for the club.”
PSG take on Arsenal on Wednesday at 2:45 ET on FS1.