Paris (AFP) – Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier was sentenced to two months in jail by a court in Paris on Monday for assaulting a police officer.
But the 23-year-old will not serve any time in prison as he is appealing his sentence which was less than one year.
The Ivory Coast international was later included in PSG coach Unai Emery’s squad for Wednesday’s Champions League tie at Ludogorets in Bulgaria.
The incident occurred on May 30 outside a Paris nightclub when Aurier was arrested and placed in police custody.
The court heard that the troubled footballer refused to cooperate when asked to leave his tinted-glass Porsche Cayenne which police claimed was incorrectly parked outside the club in the early hours in an upmarket district of the French capital.
Police said the situation turned violent when an agitated Aurier elbowed one of the officers in the chest, causing him to have to take a day off work.
“The driver got out of the car straight away and apologised but the front passenger (Aurier) refused to show his hands,” the policeman told the court.
He said he had to grab Aurier to make him exit the car, at which point the player elbowed him.
Aurier denied the charge and was allowed to leave the court.
“The club takes note of his condemnation. An appeal has been lodged at the end of the hearing by the player’s lawyer,” said a PSG statement.
“Serge Aurier will continue to benefit from the presumption of innocence ahead of the appeal court’s decision.”
Aurier later took to Twitter to express his “confidence in justice” and that he would await “the appeal … to express myself again”.
The player, who has had recent disciplinary problems with his club, rejected the police account of the incident and said he was the victim of violence.
He has filed a complaint against the police.
Given his lack of remorse, the court went beyond the prosecutor’s request for a sentence of two months suspended or with community service. The sentence took into account Aurier’s four previous convictions for driving without a licence.
The court also ordered him to pay 600 euros $674) in damages and interest as well as 1,500 euros in court costs.
– ‘Lacked lucidity’ –
He was described by the public prosecutor as having “lacked lucidity” during the incident and acted in a “puerile and immature” manner.
Aurier, who said in court he earns 200,000 euros a month, was in trouble with his club last season after making derogatory comments about his then-PSG coach Laurent Blanc and other team-mates, including current Manchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic, on a social media video post.
He was suspended by his club for five weeks but owned up to having committed “a stupid mistake”.
However, when filming a video to apologise for his comments, Aurier behaved in an “indifferent” manner and needed several takes to get his apology right, according to France Football magazine.
PSG owner Nasser Al-Khelaifi even yelled at him that he would “stay five hours if necessary, but you’ll do what we ask”, added the magazine.
The year before, Aurier copped a three-match ban from UEFA after reacting to a PSG victory in the Champions League by posting a video on Facebook in which he called the referee a “son of a bitch”.
But since returning to pre-season training in July, Aurier has impressed his bosses.
“The club wants to underline the player’s professional attitude shown since his return on July 4.
“At the same time, Paris Saint-Germain reaffirms our affection and respect for the forces of order and the jobs they do.”
However, his court appearance comes on the back of Aurier being sent off in PSG’s 2-0 Ligue 1 defeat at Toulouse on Friday night, their second reverse of the season.
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