Champions League: PSG defender Serge Aurier barred from UK for Arsenal tie
Serge Aurier will not be allowed into Britain to face Arsenal in their Champions League clash on Wednesday after British authorities revoked his visa, PSG said.
Paris: Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier will not be allowed into Britain to face Arsenal in their Champions League clash on Wednesday after British authorities revoked his visa, the French club said.
"Paris Saint-Germain is stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the Uefa Champions League," the club said on Tuesday, adding it was because of Aurier's September conviction for assaulting a police officer outside a Paris nightclub.
The French champions made clear their anger with British authorities, especially because they said they were only informed of the decision on Tuesday, calling that "a flagrant lack of respect for the club".
"After an initial application on October 18, complete with all the necessary documents, the British authorities had originally granted Paris Saint-Germain’s Ivory Coast international an entry visa to the UK on 21 October," PSG said.
"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."
PSG, who face Arsenal with top spot up for grabs in Group A, said that they lobbied against the decision to no avail and were further angered by the fact that the final decision came so late.
"The club also deplores that the final decision of the British authorities was only communicated at 14:00 CET (1300 GMT) 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."
The 23-year-old Aurier has not spent any time in prison, despite being sentenced to two months for the assault, and has filed an appeal against the decision.
Verratti was replaced late in the first half of Sunday's game and is set for another spell on the sidelines, having already missed a month of the season with a knee injury.
Having moved to the top of the group with victories over AC Milan and Porto, the six-time European Cup winners head to Madrid to face the Spanish champions Atletico.
Coming just days after a dismal 4-2 defeat at Leicester in the Premier League, midfielder Pogba said the spirited comeback showed his team's character.