PSG defender Serge Aurier has been denied a UK visa owing to an assault conviction and is hence ruled out of the Arsenal clash.
In a surprising turn of events leading up to Wednesday’s showdown between Arsenal and PSG at the Emirates, Serge Aurier has been denied a UK visa and will hence play no part in the French Champions’ clash with the English giants. The news came as a shock to Unai Emery’s side who earlier announced that the Ivorian international had been denied entry into Britain owing to an assault conviction he received in September for acting violently towards police outside a nightclub.
The club released a statement on Tuesday after the announcement that read,“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.”
The Parisiens slammed Britain for their ‘flagrant lack of respect’ after issuing such a delayed call on the defender’s situation. Aurier was originally issued a visa but then had it revoked on November 16th due to his disciplinary charge. Over the course of the ensuing week the club informed the authorities that the player had appealed against his conviction. Moreover they attempted to influence a decision in their favour citing his presumption of innocence.
PSG felt hard-done by the late decision after spending an entire week trying to find out a viable solution that would enable the defender to make the trip down to London for the Champions League tie. The defending Ligue 1 champions have been plagued by a number of injury doubts this campaign and the last thing Unai Emery needed was a diplomatic issue involving a key member of his squad.
The right-back caused a lot of problems for Arsenal during their earlier clash at the Parc Des Princes back in September hence his absence could prove to be a huge blow for PSG. Thomas Muenier is expected to step in as a replacement.
Although it is a short-term decision, Britain’s move to refuse a visa for Aurier may peg back Manchester City and Manchester United in their efforts to sign the player. The giants looked set for a two-way tussle to sign the Ivorian next summer as they looked to inject some fresh blood and quality to the full-back positions in their respective squads. However with diplomatic obstacles clouting a potential move, any plans to sign the player may be temporarily shelved.