Paris Saint-Germain accuse Home Office of "flagrant lack of respect" after defender Serge Aurier is denied entry to UK to face Arsenal in Champions League

Frank Dalleres
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Serge Aurier of Paris Saint-Germain
Aurier had his visa revoked after he was convicted of assaulting a police officer (Source: Getty)

Paris Saint-Germain chiefs have criticised British authorities after defender Serge Aurier was denied entry to the United Kingdom for Wednesday's Champions League match against Arsenal.

Ivory Coast international Aurier, 23, had his visa revoked last week following his receipt in September of a suspended two-month prison sentence for assaulting a police officer in May.

The French champions insisted that first-choice right-back Aurier, who has a history of controversy, should be allowed to travel to London because he is appealing his conviction.

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PSG accused the Home Office of “a sudden about-face” and said they had been “stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the Uefa Champions League.”

They also alleged that they had only learnt the final decision on Tuesday afternoon, adding: “Paris Saint-Germain considers this extremely tardive [sic] response as a flagrant lack of respect for the club.”

Governing body Uefa expressed “deep disappointment” that Aurier had been denied entry.

It added: “It is regrettable that a player eligible for the competition will not be able to take part in the match for reasons which are not related to football and its regulations.“

The Home Office said: “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.”

Wednesday's match is likely to determine whether Arsenal or PSG finish top of their Champions League group and therefore receive a preferential draw in the first knockout round.

Arsenal are set to recall goalkeeper David Ospina for European duty, while forward Theo Walcott and midfielder Aaron Ramsey are set to be available despite missing training yesterday.

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