Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier has been denied entry into Britain by the UK Border Control following a conviction for elbowing a police officer.
The Ivorian will now miss PSG’s UEFA Champions League tie against Arsenal on Wednesday, at the Emirates Stadium, London.
Aurier was handed a two month jail sentence for the row, which occurred outside a Paris nightclub in May when he was asked to provide a breath test.
He was given a 600 euro fine, and then handed what was described by The Guardian as a “convertible sentence which will probably result in community service rather than jail time”.
The 23-year-old then appealed the court’s decision and was allowed to continue playing football until the case was heard.
However, the UK Ministry of the Interior on Tuesday afternoon informed PSG that Aurier would not be allowed into the Britain, after the Ivorian applied for a Tier 2 Sportsperson visa for the Champions League clash.
The French champions called the decision “incomprehensible” but Britain’s Interior Ministry said it was acting according to established immigration rules.
“Paris Saint-Germain is stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the UEFA Champions League,” the club said on Tuesday, adding it was because of Aurier’s September conviction for assaulting a police officer outside a Paris nightclub.
“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.”
PSG was angered because the decision came so late, but Britain’s Interior Ministry stood by its decision.
“Mr Aurier received a two month custodial sentence in September for assaulting a police officer. 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,” a statement from the ministry said.
Arsenal host PSG in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday night as they look to cement their position at the top of Group A.