Serge Aurier has been refused permission to enter the UK. But would we let in the Trump?

By Tony Attwood

I know this story has suddenly started to appear everywhere, and since this is Untold I wouldn’t normally run such a piece, but it really does raise an interesting question: how far are the newly emboldened British border agencies and their chums in the Home Office going to go to keep our borders sacrosanct?

Paris Saint Germain defender Serge Aurier has been refused permission by British immigration authorities to travel into the UK for tomorrow’s Champions League match against Arsenal.

Aurier is 23 years old, and an Ivory Coast citizen, and indeed an Ivorian international.   The reason for declining his entry visa is that he received a conviction for assault two months ago for acting with violence against a police officer outside a night club.

PSG have issued a statement which 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.”

PSG however have put forward to interesting issues.  One is that they say that British immigration gave Aurier a visa and then revoked on 16 November. The other is that PSG informed British Border Control that Aurier had appealed his conviction as so should be let in until the appeal is heard.

“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.”

Worse from PSG’s point of view is the fact that PSG was only informed of the decision at 2pm on Tuesday of the rejection of the application, “despite the club working for the last six days to find a solution to enable our player to travel with his teammates to London.

“After an initial application on October 18, 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 October 21.

“However, on November 16, his visa was finally revoked by the British Ministry of the Interior, [The Home Office] who justified their about-face by citing Aurier’s conviction on September 30, 2016.”

It is of course within the remit of the Home Office to refuse anyone an entry permit for any reason that it feels like citing, but in a democratic society this right is supposed to be used with discretion.  Although the crime of hurting a police officer might well be one that would lead to a refusal of entry, normally the fact that it is under appeal, combined with the fact that undoubtedly PSG would have given a guarantee of his behaviour while in the UK, and even posted a surety on his behalf, would be enough.

Indeed although the two month prison sentence has been given along with a fine of 600 euros, the player was given a ‘convertible’ sentence which would allow him to undertake community service rather than undertake a prison sentence.

The officials from PSG added,

“Paris Saint-Germain had, in all transparency, informed the British authorities of this conviction, as well as Aurier’s appeal against this decision from the outset.

“The club has argued several times that the player has launched a legal appeal against the criminal ruling…   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….

“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.”

Aurier of course is not a citizen of the EU and thus the UK authorities regard him in relation to his citizenship as a non-EU national, with whom they can deal as they like.  And, it seems, they like to ban him from entry.

So we then face the issue of Donald Trump, a man accused of numerous offences.  He probably won’t want to come here, but if he did, would we let him in?  Probably.  He’s white.  And he has nuclear bombs.

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26 Replies to “Serge Aurier has been refused permission to enter the UK. But would we let in the Trump?”

  1. Why should he be presumed innocent because he appealed? A court found him guilty, and that’s his current status.

    PSG prattling on about Uefa wanting to maintain the integrity of its competitions made me laugh. Uefa, whether they like it or not, should be subject to the laws of any country. As for integrity…

  2. Quite simply there is not a presumption of innocence in such circumstances. The presumption ends once a conviction is reached.
    The player is not subject to the same rights as EU citizens nor is there any doubt he has been convicted and as such he quite rightly has been barred from entering the UK
    As for trying to link Trump to the same sort of ban is quite simply stupid for at this time, as far as I am aware he hasn’t been convicted of a crime that would support such a ban

  3. I don’t know anything about Serge Aurier, but I am willing to bet that he is far less objectionable and dangerous a person than Mr. Trump.

  4. Tony….for once I have to disagree with you. Aurier was convicted and is appealing, but unless EU law and UK regulations permit a convicted felon to enter the U while appealing his conviction (I doubt it does) then he must be treated like any other felon.
    Donald Trump is a head of state, the president-elect of the world’s strongest country AND, while a buffoon and patent liar, is not a felon just yet, so your comparison is apples and tangerines. Aurier deserves what he gets but Trump cannot be in any way compared to Aurier.

  5. Before any footballer succumbed to the violet act or any verbal outburst instinct of his heart against an officer of the Law or a private lawful citizen, he should think twice of the unpleasant consequence against him that could followed.

    I think Sergy Aurier has a history of been violent or crossly rude against his coach at PSG before this his current violent conduct case against a police officer in a civilized western country like France. And he should have known the authority will not leave him unpunished.

    I can’t voice for Aurier. He got what he bought. Afterall, know that he’s just a black West African footballer for that matter who making his fortunes at PSG. And has no any Ivorian diplomatic cover which can cover him from minor criminal charges but be deported back home.

    His case is a criminal violent act committed by him. Whereas Donald Trump’s one maybe a civil case but I don’t know. And I think he visited the UK just before the last US presidential election which he won convincingly. And I believe he wasn’t quizzed by any UK’s Law enforcement agency during his visit to the UK.

    For his stance to take serious action on Islamic insurgents attacking mainly the Christians, and the Islamic jihadist who have been wagging Islamic wars to eradicate Christianity in the world by killing them, maimed them and capturing their towns and places of residence and worships and destroyed them and forced the Christians to convert to Islam. And covert their towns and places of residence to Islamic caliphates, I supported Trump to become President of the US 100%. If I am a US citizen, is him I would have voted for.

    Enough is enough. Somebody has to stop these insurgents and Jihadist from causing more harms than they’ve caused to Christians, their towns, place of residence and their places of worships. Afterall, no Christian or Christians has/have done like to them.

  6. That’s a pity. Think he should have been allowed in – don’t want non-footballing issues to impact so directly on the game. It will only fire up PSG and/or allow them to whinge away if they don’t get the result they seek. Want to beat teams fair and square.

    I very much doubt that Aurier would be a threat to public safety in the UK (although could be a threat to Alexis’s ankles).

  7. Steward: Excuse me sir, this ticket is not valid for this game. I’m afraid you’ll have to leave the stadium.
    Person: What? I’ve attended other games this season, and it was certainly valid for them.
    Steward: Do you perhaps work for the government? I’m sorry, but Arsenal decided that no government person would be allowed to attend this game. Tit for tat, so they say. I’m sure you understand.

    Thanks for the news Pete. Walter had noticed that likelihood. Did the spuds get their penalty honestly?

    I tried playing with a model to explain this “November slump”. If there is a slump, it is not one month wide, it is nearly 3. It runs from about September 10 to about Dec 28. The bottom of the slump is about October 22, and has a minimum points per game of about 1.6. Which is not a lot different from the yearly average of just a hair under 2.0 points per game.

    Anyone got an explanation for a 3 month slump?

  8. Tony.A wonderful website.Please do not bring your politics into this FOOTBALL website.Please accept Trump is going to be the the president of the U.S.A. and we voted to leave the E.U.
    P.S. Is it not good news he will not be playing against us?.

  9. As long as the Home Office is not supporting Arsenal we can say we had nothing to do with it. 🙂
    A strange decision indeed.

  10. Four Four Two is running a series of articles on the Top-50 books about football. Most of these at best only peripherally involve Arsenal.

    #32 Some kind of (auto) biography about/by Paul Merson. Not solely about why he is such a dork to Gooners reading the medja.

    50-41 was yesterday, 40-31 was today. And the rest on not yet published. has a story from 4th tier Serbia, where the worst miss of an open goal has taken place.

    Football Italia is really impressed with Clattenburg. He apparently made (only?) 2 huge errors.

  11. I think that it would be a sin not to allow The Donald in the UK. Just imagine the amount of humour that he would generate with his faux pas , as well as his general stupidity .
    Why deny your media,the talk hosts and the comedians this golden opportunity? Not to mention hair stylists and those who would love to be ‘touched’ by him. That would amount to cruel and unwarranted and unusual punishment! Everyone should be fair game .

    Here’s an example of the kind of joke you could expect –

    The Donald was in a pub the other night and overheard three very hefty women talking .Their accent appeared to him to be Scottish , so he approached and asked them , ” Hello ladies, are you three lassies from Scotland ?”

    One of them angrily screeched , ” It’s Wales , you bloody idiot , Wales !”

    So The Donald aplogises to them and replied, ” I’m so sorry . Are you three whales from Scotland ?”
    And apparently that was the last thing that he remembered !

    I rest my case , m’lud .

  12. I have been reading your blog quite a long time now which I have enjoyed, but why do you have to play the race card stating that Trump is white, what has the colour of his skin got to do with it?Please stick to football topics which you are very good at, after all this is a Football site and not a Political one

  13. I do accept the points made about my article, which in retrospect was not well-worded.

    At the back of my mind was another issue, and that is the question of what will happen if England offers to host further international events such as the Champions League final. With such events I think it is common to get an assurance from the government that all selected players will be allowed in irrespective of normal border controls.

    Yesterday’s events mean either that there will have to be a different set of rules or no more big footballing events. Indeed with the rules applied yesterday we certainly couldn’t bid for the World Cup finals.

  14. @Pete…don’t they (Spurs) have to finish 3rd in their group to play on Thursday?…that is far from assured.

  15. Tony

    It’s not UK citizens who should worry about letting Trump in. It’s US citizens who have let him into The White House that should question their judgement.

    It’s been a while since a clever man said something about walking like a duck etc. Now they will have one in The White House but excuses about his duck-characteristics are mounting.

  16. Never mind your flawed logic on this one , Tony.
    I like these articles of yours on topics other than strictly football matters.

    For one, I like your writing and the way you formulate your thoughts.
    But even more importantly I like to read the comments section that follows the none football topics, like political and social issues.

    It gives a rare glimpse into the mindset of some posters and in some cases flushes out the real nut jobs.
    Keep it up.

  17. Agree with Tom.

    I believe that It is important to air social, political views on issues associated with football, especially where apparent contradictions might occur.

    For instance, is not Lionel Messi appealing against a 21 month prison sentence for tax fraud given to him by the Spanish court (albeit suspended if less than 24 months by Spanish legal system) and is not Messi an Argentinian or does he hold dual nationality with Spain?

    Has he had a visa application turned down by UK authorities recently by any

  18. Lovely jive talk Tony, shame some don’t have the sense of humour.

    The Trump (aka Don the Builder) has a nuke & his U turns really sums up intelligence level in US electorate. I look forward to his visit as President of USA (together with his similarly intelligent immigrant wife).

    Watching some super intelligent pundits moaning the loss of spuds from CL (on ESPN FC show). Amazing how they still poke fun at Arsenal not being able to win past the next round.

  19. AKH

    The refusal is based on the fact that the conviction is based on a charge of violence whereas Messi has been convicted on tax avoidance charge which in itself is disgraceful but is not covered in the home office rules being quoted

  20. @Menace – don’t be so harsh on the Spud-lovers. I mean, Spuds won’t lose in the CL Ro16, will they?

  21. Which football team does Donald Trump play for? Does he have any convictions (in the judiciary sense)?

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