Paris-Saint-Germain full-back Serge Aurier was today handed a two-year jail sentence and a €600 fine as a result of an altercation with a French police officer back in May.
The Ivory Coast defender, who has started five games for the Parisian side already this season, was found guilty of elbowing an officer in the early hours of May 30 after he had been pulled over to perform a breath test not long after leaving a nightclub in the French capital.
Despite the conviction, which Aurier has confirmed he will appeal there is a strong chance that the 23-year-old won't have to serve time behind bars because of the "convertible" nature of his sentence. However, PSG have still released an official statement this afternoon.
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Posted to their official website, the statement reads:
"Serge Aurier appeared personally before the Paris court to answer the charges against him.
"The club takes note of his conviction. An appeal was made to the output of the hearing by counsel for the player.
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"Thus, and according to the rules of criminal procedure, Serge Aurier has again presumed innocent pending the decision of the Appeal Court.
"Pending this decision, the player is allowed to continue the exercise of his profession in France and abroad.
"In addition, the Club wishes to stress the professional attitude of the player since his return to training on July 4. Meanwhile, Paris Saint-Germain reaffirms its commitment to respect for the security forces and their missions."
Speaking back in June, Aurier vehemently denied the claims of the police officer and argued that he himself had been mistreated when he was stopped on the famous Champs Elysées.
The decision today, however, now means that he must win an appeal to prevent the conviction against his name.
Even if he loses the upcoming appeal, though, it is unlikely the full-back will spend time in prison.
As noted by The Guardian, the more likely scenario would see Aurier pay a higher fine and perform community service.
As things stand, the defender could still line up for PSG in their Champions League fixture against Ludogorets on Wednesday, but the verdict is another red mark against his name after what has been a controversial year.
Back in February, Aurier was suspended for six weeks by PSG after calling then manager Laurent Blanc a "clown". He was also sent off in his most recent appearance for the club, on Friday evening.
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