PSG have confirmed in a press release that Ivorian right-back Serge Aurier will not feature in a vital Champions League game tomorrow vs. Arsenal after he was denied entry into the United Kingdom.
The British authorities initially granted the player a visa to enter the United Kingdom on the 21st of October, after the player had a hearing on the 18th of October and presented all the necessary documents.
On the 16th of November, this visa was withdrawn by the Ministry of Justice, according to PSG, with the UK government citing Serge Aurier’s recent sentence for physically assaulting a police officer which was handed to the Ivorian on the 30th September.
PSG claim to be both confused and furious with this decision, citing the fact that Aurier is currently appealing that judgement and is, for now, presumed innocent after an application was accepted for Aurier’s appeal.
PSG’s statement in full on the matter below:
“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.”