Aurier banned from Britain for key PSG Champions League clash
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British authorities came under fire on Tuesday after they went back on their decision to allow the Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier into the country for Wednesday night's Uefa Champions League game at Arsenal.
The sides clash at the Emirates Stadium in north London in the fifth game in Group A. Both teams have 10 points and the victor will advance as winner of the pool.
"Paris Saint-Germain is stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the Uefa Champions League," the club said in a statement.
Aurier, 23, was convicted in September for assaulting a police officer outside a Paris nightclub in May. He was sentenced to two months in prison.
The Cote d'Ivoire international has appealed against the sentence and has played for PSG while awaiting a verdict.
"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," the PSG statement added.
A club spokesman said Uefa had lobbied British authorities on PSG's behalf and he described the volte face as "a flagrant lack of respect for the club".
PSG said an initial application was handed into British authorities on 18 October and Aurier was granted an entry visa to Britian on 21 October.
However, on 16 November, his visa was revoked by the British ministry of the interior, who justified the U-turn by citing Aurier's conviction.
Under Britain's immigration rules, citizens from outside the European Union who have received a prison sentence of less than 12 months within the last five years will be refused on criminality grounds.
"Paris Saint-Germain strongly regrets that the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain's decision," the statement added.
Aurier incurred the wrath of the PSG hierarchy last season after making derogatory comments about his then-PSG coach Laurent Blanc and teammates on a social media post.
He was suspended for five weeks but owned up to having made a stupid mistake.
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