UK accused of ‘lack of respect’ over Aurier ban
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