PSG's Serge Aurier refused UK entry visa for Arsenal game due to conviction

Paris Saint-Germain will be without right-back Serge Aurier against Arsenal in the Champions League on Wednesday after the player was denied entry to the United Kingdom because of his ongoing appeal against a "convertible" two-month prison sentence.

Aurier, 23, was part of the French giants' squad that travelled to London on Tuesday, but the Ivory Coast international was informed at 2 p.m. CET that day that he would not be allowed to join his teammates in the English capital on the eve of their clash with the Gunners.

PSG have reacted angrily to the news, saying the decision "attacks the very integrity of the Champions League" and the Ligue 1 champions have emphasised how they "deplore" the British Authorities' late final decision that has been interpreted as a "flagrant lack of respect" for the capital club.

In a statement, PSG said: "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.''

Aurier was given a suspended two-month prison sentence on Sept. 26 for assaulting a police officer. The incident occurred on May 30 outside a Paris nightclub when the defender was originally arrested and placed in police custody.

The defender is currently awaiting his next court appearance after appealing against the alleged attack and PSG said that they indicated as much to the British authorities on Oct. 18.

Aurier was initially granted a UK entry visa on Oct. 21 but that was revoked, with the British Ministry of the Interior justifying its "about-face" by using the player's conviction.

PSG say they tried several times to argue Aurier is entitled to the presumption of innocence until proven guilty and that UEFA "transmitted its total support of PSG" to the British authorities.

The statement added: "After an initial application on 18 October, complete with all the necessary documents, the British authorities had originally granted Paris Saint-Germain's Cote d'Ivoire international an entry visa to the UK on 21 October. However, on 16 November, his visa was finally revoked by the British Ministry of the Interior [Home Office], who justified their about-face by citing Aurier's conviction on 30 September, 2016.

"Paris Saint-Germain had, in all transparency, informed the British authorities of this conviction, as well as Aurier's appeal against this decision [and the legal suspension of the ruling] from the outset.

"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.

"Paris Saint-Germain strongly regrets that the presumption of innocence has not influenced Britain's decision. On several occasions, UEFA has also transmitted its total support of Paris Saint-Germain to the British authorities regarding this case, in order to preserve the integrity of its competitions.

"The club also deplores that the final decision of the British authorities was only communicated at 14:00 CET on Tuesday, despite the club working for the last six days to find a solution to enable our player to travel with his teammates to London. Paris Saint-Germain considers this extremely tardive [late] response as a flagrant lack of respect for the club, given that its player could have been training with the team just hours later at Emirates Stadium.

"In the face of this decision, albeit difficult to understand in respect to European law, Paris Saint-Germain, who had planned to travel to London with its strongest possible squad, invites its fans to be more united than ever, in support of their club.''

Although they are unhappy at the loss of another player, PSG have since finalised their 21-man squad for the Arsenal encounter without Aurier.

Adrien Rabiot, Layvin Kurzawa and Javier Pastore have all missed out through injury but Alphonse Areola and Angel Di Maria have been included after recent fitness issues.

In addition to the Frenchman and the Argentina international, youth academy graduates Jean-Kevin Augustin, Nanitamo Jonathan Ikone, Christopher Nkunku, Lorenzo Callegari and Remy Descamps have all been drafted in, suggesting Areola and Di Maria might yet miss out.

Thomas Meunier, who scored a spectacular late winner for PSG away at Basel last time out in Group A, is expected to start in Aurier's place at right-back.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.