UK ac­cused of ‘lack of re­spect’ over Aurier ban

The Sun (Malaysia) - - SPORTS -

ARSE­NAL’S cru­cial Cham­pi­ons League game with Paris Saint-Ger­main was over­shad­owed by an as­ton­ish­ing in­ter­na­tional spat yes­ter­day as a PSG player was barred from en­ter­ing the coun­try. PSG were fu­ri­ous at a “fla­grant lack of re­spect” as Serge Aurier was barred en­try to the UK ow­ing to an out­stand­ing con­vic­tion for as­sault.

PSG is­sued a fu­ri­ous state­ment claim­ing that the Home Of­fice had gone back on their ini­tial ap­proval of an en­try visa for Aurier, a de­ci­sion “dif­fi­cult to un­der­stand” in the con­text of European law. Aurier is from Cote d’Ivoire, mean­ing that as a non-EU na­tional he needs a visa to come to the UK.

“Due to a sud­den about-turn by the Bri­tish au­thor­i­ties, Serge Aurier has not been al­lowed to travel for the clash away to Arse­nal,” said the PSG state­ment. “PSG is stunned by this in­com­pre­hen­si­ble sit­u­a­tion that at­tacks the very in­tegrity of the Uefa Cham­pi­ons League.”

PSG claimed that they ini­tially ap­plied for Aurier’s visa on 18 Oc­to­ber and that three days later they were told that it would be suc­cess­ful.

How­ever, last Wed­nes­day PSG were told that Aurier would not in fact re­ceive a visa due to his con­vic­tion for as­sault from two months be­fore.

The Home Of­fice, while not com­ment­ing on the de­tails of PSG’s claim, in­sisted that UKVI of­fi­cials had been in touch with PSG through­out the process.

PSG coach Unai Emery said that the Aurier was “dis­ap­pointed” to not have been al­lowed into the UK.

“Ev­ery foot­baller wants to be in­volved in a fix­ture like this but ul­ti­mately the de­ci­sion was not down to us.“– The In­de­pen­dent

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