Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has strongly criticised Paris Saint-Germain defender Serge Aurier following remarks made in a social media video criticising coach Laurent Blanc and some team-mates.
Ivory Coast international Aurier will not feature in PSG’s Champions League last-16 match against Chelsea on Tuesday having been suspended by the club.
Aurier posted a video responding to questions from supporters in which he appeared to make controversial comments about Blanc and PSG colleagues, including Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Aulas believes there is no place for such behaviour and that Aurier’s actions could temper PSG’s European ambitions, in turn having a negative impact on French football.
“If something like that happened to Lyon, as per the images I was able to see without confirming their authenticity, the player would face an extremely important sanction,” he said.
“As a player, whatever your level, you cannot publicly criticise your team-mates and your head coach on top of that. If it was up to me, the sanction will be a heavy one.”
Aulas added: “PSG could win the Champions League. It will be bad that a minor news item, because that’s what it is, could endanger the opportunity the club has to compete with the best teams in Europe.
“I am disappointed for Paris; I am disappointed for the football player. I do not know what happened but I hope… that we hear that things did not happen as it seemed. That’s what I want for PSG and French football.”
Saint-Etienne coach Christophe Galtier also condemned Aurier and came out in support of his counterpart Blanc.
“Obviously I am shocked,” he said. “I am not the one who can say what to do. PSG will deal well with that situation.
“Unfortunately for the club, they now have to deal with something that the club didn’t deserve, especially the head coach and the group. The institution has been attacked.
“In that case we can also speak about solidarity between head coaches and I am 100 per cent with Laurent. Laurent is also a friend of mine. He’s a French head coach.
“When we woke up this morning and realised about the situation, we couldn’t believe our eyes and our ears. Absolutely not. What PSG should do, the club, we’ll see.
“They’ll try to deal the best they can with a crisis at a crucial time for the club, coming from a player that was pretty much nothing before joining PSG.”