Friday 23 March 2018

PSG's Serge Aurier suspended over 'homophobic' Laurent Blanc remarks

Serge Aurier (L) seen celebrating a goal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic last month has landed himself in hot water
Serge Aurier (L) seen celebrating a goal with Zlatan Ibrahimovic last month has landed himself in hot water

Simon Rice

PSG's preparations for their Champions League tie with Chelsea have been rattled after the club suspended Serge Aurier over derogatory comments the defender made about coach Laurent Blanc and some of his team-mates.

The Ivory Coast international is alleged to have used a homophobic slur in relation to his manager and called out Zlatan Ibrahimovic and other PSG players during a live question-and-answer session on Periscope on Saturday night.

The club acted swiftly, announcing yesterday that they had suspended Aurier indefinitely and that the 23-year-old was certain to miss the Champions League Last-16 first-leg tie with Chelsea at the Parc de Princes on Tuesday.

The most serious allegation against Aurier is that he referred to Blanc as "une fiotte", which translates into English as a faggot - a pejorative term for a homosexual.

A statement on PSG’s website read: “This Sunday, the club have learned of a video distributed on social media in which Serge Aurier responds to questions from internet users. The video, filmed in a private context, contains certain comments which are clearly unacceptable from a Paris St Germain player, towards certain team-mates and especially towards coach Laurent Blanc.

“The club have opened disciplinary proceedings against the player, accompanied by a provisional suspension. Serge Aurier therefore will not figure in the squad to play against Chelsea on Tuesday in the Champions League.

“Paris St Germain offer their full support to coach Laurent Blanc and to the players who, quite rightly, feel offended by these comments, which are against the values of the club.”

The club president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, said: “I have taken the decision to suspend Serge Aurier. Paris St Germain is a very strong institution and nobody can affect that. I will not allow anyone to cause difficulty for the club or distract us from our aims, beginning with our meeting with Chelsea.”

Aurier has been a regular in the PSG side under Blanc, featuring in 19 Ligue 1 games and three Champions League ties this season.

In a video on PSG TV he apologised for his actions.

“I made a big mistake, I am here to say sorry to the coach, the club and my team-mates, and to the supporters because they are the most important people," he said.

“I want to apologise especially to the coach, I can only thank him for all he has done for me since I arrived in Paris. He wanted me and since I came here everything has gone really well. I owe him a lot and that is why I apologise sincerely to him for what was said, which I deeply regret.

“I will accept any sanction the club impose on me regarding this incident. I made a mistake, it was unforgivable and I am ready to face all the consequences.”

Aurier was in trouble over social media comments when PSG knocked Chelsea out of the Champions League last season. In a video posted on Facebook he labelled the referee who sent Ibrahimovic off at Stamford Bridge as a “dirty son of a bitch”. Uefa subsequently banned him for three matches.

Independent News Service

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