Thursday 18 January 2018

Laurent Blanc describes suspended PSG defender Serge Aurier as 'pitiful and pathetic'

Laurent Blanc has attacked Serge Aurier for his homophobic outburst Photo: AFP or licensors
Laurent Blanc has attacked Serge Aurier for his homophobic outburst Photo: AFP or licensors

Sam Wallace

The Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent Blanc has described his right-back Serge Aurier as “pitiful and pathetic” for a homophobic slur against his manager in a chronically ill-judged Periscope broadcast that has caused a scandal in French football.

The former Manchester United centre-back used his press conference today ahead of the Champions League game against Chelsea tomorrow to address the issue of Aurier, 23, who has landed himself in deep trouble with a number of wild allegations against team-mates broadcast on Sunday night.

Filmed by a friend, Aurier made lewd comments about Blanc and PSG star Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

He described Blanc as “une fiotte” – a pejorative term for homosexuals. He called team-mate Gregory van der Wiel “wetter than wet” and said that goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu was “finished”. Aurier was immediately suspended by the club and will not face Chelsea.

In his Champions League press conference, Blanc said that he would answer just one question on the issue, but laughed when more subtle attempts were made subsequently to raise the issue. The PSG manager said he reacted “very badly” when told what Aurier had said.

“We can think whatever we like – this is a democracy and we are free to think about things, have our opinions – but this boy ... two years ago, I committed myself to bring him to Paris [from Toulouse], and seeing what I saw yesterday, that's all the thanks I got. That's pitiful. Pathetic.

“I won't say more, because I'm here to talk about the Chelsea game. A very important match. But he has penalised himself. He should have been preparing today for a last 16 round game in the Champions League. That would have been better than staying at home not knowing what to do.

“It's bad for him, but it's bad for the club. He's penalised the club. The player is a big boy. He can do what he wants and handle the consequences, but he has penalised the club: through the image he's created, and what he said. I know this new generation of players and many of them spend their time feeling sorry for themselves. But you can't do that.”

Aurier has already filmed an apology for the club’s in-house television station, admitting a “big mistake”. It is possible that he did not know he was being broadcast by a friend on the video-streaming app. He has been in trouble on social media before for insulting Uefa referee Bjorn Kuipers.

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