Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that they have provisionally suspended full-back Serge Aurier, after he made offensive comments about manager Laurent Blanc and team-mates on social media.
Aurier, who has been a regularly contributor for the French league champions this season, will now almost certainly miss PSG's Champions League meeting with Chelsea on Tuesday night.
The Ivory Coast international, 23, was filmed on Periscope taking part in a question and answer session with fans on Saturday evening, during which he made offensive comments about Blanc and PSG forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic – suggesting, in explicit terms, that the Frenchman was subservient to the Swede, while going on to call the coach a "f*****".
Despite quickly deleting the video it subsequently went viral, with Aurier reportedly acknowledging to the club that it was genuine and that he did make the comments. He initially was told not to attend training as scheduled on Sunday, with PSG later announcing that they had provisionally suspended the player, pending a further investigation.
"I have taken the decision to suspend Serge Aurier," chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi said in a statement, with the club adding that Aurier's comments were "clearly unacceptable".
Al-Khelaifi added: “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.”
Along with his comments about Ibrahimovic and Blanc, Aurier made disparaging remarks about a number of team-mates – including fellow full-back Gregory van der Wiel, forward Edinson Cavani and goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
In an interview with the club's television channel, Aurier said he will "accept the sanctions PSG impose and face the consequences" of his actions.
“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," Aurier said. "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.”
This is not the first time the former Toulouse player has found himself in hot water – last season he was banned for three matches by UEFA after making "insulting" comments about a referee following Bjorn Kuipers' decision to send off Ibrahimovic during PSG's eventual Champions League victory over Chelsea.
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