PSG Defender barred from entering UK ahead of clash with Arsenal

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psgIvory Coast and  Paris St-Germain full-back Serge Aurier was stopped from entering the United Kingdom and will miss Wednesday’s Champions League match against Arsenal.

The  23 year old  was given a two month suspended prison sentence in September for assaulting a police officer.

PSG say the UK authorities granted Aurier a visa in October but revoked it on 16 November, citing his conviction.

Uefa expressed “deep disappointment” in the ruling, while PSG said the timing showed “a lack of respect”.

The French champions accused the Home Office of a “tardy response” and claimed the decision was not made until Tuesday afternoon.

As Aurier was born outside Europe, he was applying for a Tier Sportsperson visa  , which allows an individual to stay in a country for up to three years and typically takes three weeks to process.

But the Home Office said in a statement: “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.”

There is no right to appeal against a visa refusal.

Aurier has previously appeared eight times in the Champions League for PSG

Aurier, an Ivory Coast international, is appealing against his initial conviction, leading PSG to believe he is entitled to be presumed innocent.

“Paris St-Germain strongly regrets the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain’s decision,” said the club in a statement.

Uefa sent letters to the Home Office and Football Association supporting PSG, and said it was “regrettable” he could not play “for reasons which are not related to football and its regulations”.

Aurier, who has played 40 times for PSG since making his loan deal from Toulouse permanent last year, is accused of elbowing a police officer outside a Paris nightclub in May.

In addition to his suspended sentence, he was fined €600 (£521).

PSG manager Unai Emery said the club “did everything in its power” to have Aurier available for their penultimate game in Group A.

His side go into Wednesday’s meeting at Emirates Stadium second in the standings, level on 10 points with leaders Arsenal with both clubs assured of a place in the knockout stages.

 

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