Paris Saint Germain star Serge Aurier has been blocked from entering the UK by the government ahead of the Champions League clash with Arsenal.
Aurier was due to travel to London today ahead of the European tie at the Emirates Stadium on Wednesday night – but Home Office officials have denied him entry.
The block is understood to surround a conviction Aurier has for assaulting a police officer last year, which the 23-year-old is currently appealing.
He was sentenced to two months in prison after elbowing the policeman as he left a nightclub in Paris.
The French champions are furious by the decision of immigration officials, claiming they have left it too late to make a decision.
They are also upset that UK Border Control have decided to block entry even though Aurier maintains his innocence and is appealing.
A PSG statement said: “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 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.”
Arsenal and PSG have already both guaranteed their places in the knock-out stages but are locked together on 10 points at the top of the Group A table.
And Wednesday’s match is likely to decide which club makes it through as group winners – which could lead to a more favourable draw in the last 16.
The two sides drew 1-1 at the Parc des Princes in the opening game of this year’s competition, as Arsenal rode their luck to escape with a point thanks to Alexis Sanchez’s goal.
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