Football: PSG ban Aaurier over team insults in rant

Serge Aurier during a training session. The Ivory Coast international had been expected to play for PSG against Chelsea today after he was rested for the league game against Lille on Saturday.
Serge Aurier during a training session. The Ivory Coast international had been expected to play for PSG against Chelsea today after he was rested for the league game against Lille on Saturday. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Defender won't play against Chelsea after he makes slurs against coach and team-mates

PARIS • Paris Saint-Germain have suspended Serge Aurier ahead of their Champions League clash against Chelsea, after he insulted coach Laurent Blanc and many of his team-mates in a video he and a friend recorded with the online app Periscope on Saturday.

"Paris Saint-Germain is a very strong institution that cannot be harmed by anybody," PSG president Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in a statement.

The decision to suspend the 23-year-old defender means that he will not play any part in today's last-16, first leg against Chelsea at the Parc des Princes.

"I will not let anybody put the club in danger and divert us from our objectives, starting with the game against Chelsea that our supporters are really looking forward to," added Al-Khelaifi.

"All the energy of the club, the players, the coach and his staff is focused on this huge match for us and our fans."

The announcement came after Ivory Coast international Aurier was reportedly excluded from training with the squad on Sunday following the appearance of the video.

In it, he appeared to describe Blanc as a "faggot", although he was not actually in the shot at the time.

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When his friend, a former French youth international, asks him whether or not "Blanc s***s off Zlatan (Ibrahimovic)?", Aurier answers: "Yes, he takes everything, even his b***s."

Aurier initially denied the allegations and threatened legal action but later apologised, telling Canal Plus and beIN Sports: "What I did was really stupid and inexcusable. I apologise to the coach and the supporters.

"I really regret what happened and accept all consequences. I can only thank Laurent Blanc for all that he has done for me at PSG."

The Periscope app allows people to broadcast live videos via their smartphones, which Aurier did as his friend, who was smoking a shisha pipe, asked him questions posed by fans.

Aurier, who was born in the Ivory Coast before being raised in the Paris suburbs, continued to insult his team-mates in an expletive-filled tirade - including Argentinian winger Angel di Maria, whom he called a "clown".

Aurier would have been expected to start against Chelsea after being rested for Saturday's 0-0 draw with Lille in Ligue One but now Gregory van der Wiel or Marquinhos will take his place.

The controversy has overshadowed PSG's otherwise strong build-up to today's match.

Their 0-1 loss at Real Madrid in the group stage is their only defeat in 39 games this season.

The French champions beat Chelsea at this same stage a year ago and are favourites to progress again, particularly given the Blues' travails this season.

Yet, Chelsea defender Gary Cahill believes his side will travel to Paris with renewed confidence in their scoring abilities after putting five past Newcastle United on Saturday.

Last season's Premier League champions have mounted an abysmal defence of their title this season, but turned in arguably their best attacking performance of the campaign against Steve McClaren's relegation-threatened side.

"We want to go as far as we can in the Champions League and the FA Cup and this is a very important week for the football club," said Cahill, who will line up alongside Branislav Ivanovic against PSG due to injuries to John Terry and Kurt Zouma.

"We got off to a great start this weekend and we have arguably the biggest games of the season coming up for us now, so we go into the week with the confidence from this game and knowing how important it is going to be."

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2016, with the headline 'Psg ban aurier over team insults in rant'. Print Edition | Subscribe