Paris Saint-Germain chairman and CEO, Nasser Al-Khelaifi has claimed that the Ligue 1 giants “were left alone” by UEFA after Serge Aurier had his entry visa for the United Kingdom revoked by the British authorities before the 2-2 draw away at Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday.
The Ivory Coast international right-back was not granted an entry visa because he is currently appealing a “convertible” two-month prison sentence for allegedly assaulting a police officer outside a Parisian nightclub back in May.
Speaking with journalists in the mixed zone after the match, Al-Khelaifi, 43, branded the Aurier situation “not fair” and emphasised his “disappointment in everybody there [UEFA].”
“We were left alone in this situation,” Al-Khelaifi added. “Normally, UEFA takes strong decisions in order to protect their competitions. However, they did nothing. Serge deserved to be here because he is a good boy. He is not a threat to anyone. I still support Serge, he is a great lad.”
On the topic of the match, Al-Khelaifi believed PSG “were the better team” and revealed he was “very proud of those who were on the pitch” because “they gave everything.”
“The players showed that they are a great team,” said Al-Khelaifi. “We deserved to win the game, because we created a lot of chances.
“We were missing a lot of players this evening, but I am very proud of those who were on the pitch. They gave everything. This evening, we are top of the group, but it is not over yet. There is still a match to win at the Parc des Princes… We have to keep working.”
Coach Unai Emery declared himself “satisfied” after his players fought back to claim a point and take top spot in Group A and the Spaniard insisted “the result was fair.”
“It was important to leave here in first place,” Emery said. “The team deserved the draw, deserves to be first. It was a good test today to see how we are as a team on the pitch.
“We worked well to put pressure on a team that likes to have the ball. It would have been good to score our clear-cut chances just after equalising at 2-2. I am delighted with the team’s attitude.”
Thiago Motta was the architect for Edinson Cavani’s opening goal at Emirates Stadium and the veteran Italian midfielder “saw a very good PSG side” that “made life difficult for Arsenal.”
“The whole team must be congratulated,” said Motta. “It is true that we suffered at times but we also worried Arsenal. Overall, I think we played a very good match, and we tried to score right up till the end.
“We now have one game left which, I hope, will be very open against an opponent, Ludogorets that needs to win to qualify for the Europa League. I think it is a good thing.”