Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier will miss the Champions League clash with Arsenal on Wednesday night (23 November) after being banned from entering the United Kingdom. Javier Pastore, Adrien Rabiot and Layvin Kurzawa have also been left out of Unai Emery's 21-man squad due to injury, but former Manchester United star Angel Di Maria has passed a late fitness test.
In September Aurier was given a two-month prison sentence for elbowing a policeman outside a nightclub in Paris.
The Ivory Coast right-back has continued his career at club level since, but has been stopped from entering the UK for the Arsenal game.
PSG have confirmed the news via an official statement, accusing British authorities of a "lack of respect".
"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 are stunned by this incomprehensible situation that attacks the very integrity of the UEFA Champions League," the club stated.
"After an initial application on 18 October, complete with all the necessary documents, the British authorities had originally granted Paris Saint-Germain's Côte 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, 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 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."
In more positive news for PSG it looks like Emery will have Di Maria available on Wednesday night. The former Manchester United winger was forced off in the first half during the 2-0 victory over Nantes at the weekend, but has been able to travel to London with the rest of the first-team squad.
However, Arsenal game will come too early for Pastore, Rabiot and Kurzawa. The Argentine playmaker also suffered an injury at the weekend, with Emery revealing after the game that he was a major doubt to face Arsenal.
Meanwhile, Rabiot missed the encounter with Nantes after he suffered a hamstring injury during the recent international break, while Kurzawa is yet to play a game since the previous Champions League clash with Basel on 1 November due to groin issues.