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Serge Aurier to miss Arsenal Champions League match because he can’t get in the country

He’s charged with assault, but PSG thought he was good to go.

Paris Saint-Germain v Arsenal FC - UEFA Champions League Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images

British authorities have reversed course at the eleventh hour, denying Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier entry into the country. This, obviously, will make it extremely hard for him to play in PSG’s Champions League match on Wednesday against Arsenal.

Aurier was convicted of assault in September for acting violently towards police outside a nightclub, but he’s appealing the conviction. PSG believed that appeal would allow him to enter England, and originally the visa was approved. British authorities revoked it on November 16, and the club was informed today that the decision was final. They are...not pleased.

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.

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.

I’m not a lawyer, so I don’t really have a take on this other than that yes, you should be innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, and that it’s probably good news for Arsenal that their opponent won’t be at full strength. I will say that the implication of PSG’s mention of “integrity” is pretty funny, though – like the British government is making visa decisions to help Arsenal win the Champions League group? The timing’s pretty poor, but that seems like the typical work of bureaucracy to me.

Without Aurier, it’s likely that Thomas Meunier will get the start at right back, unless Unai Emery decides to go with Marquinhos instead. Either way, it throws off Emery’s plans, which should hopefully help Arsenal – who need at least a draw to clinch the top spot overall in Group A. nope idiot this isn’t the last group game, so a draw just means we need to match PSG’s result in the actual last game without losing our goal difference advantage.