Manchester City banned from Champions League for two seasons

By Waweru Titus: Saturday, February 15th 2020 at 00:00 GMT +3 | Premier League
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola. [Reuters]

UEFA has banned Premier League side Manchester City from the Champions League for the next two seasons for breaking financial fair play rules (FFP).

City were been banned from Europe in 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons on Friday night.

Guardiola’s side were also fined 30 million euros (Sh3.3 billion) by the European football's governing body.

UEFA said City had committed serious breaches of the rules.

The Premier League club, however, said they were not surprised by the decision but intend to appeal to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

"Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position," City said in a statement seen by Game Yetu.

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City said that in December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to the club before any investigation had begun.

“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling,” City said. 

“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity,” the club officials pointed out.

Manchester City's Argentinian striker Sergio Aguero (L) congratulates Tottenham Hotspur's French goalkeeper Hugo Lloris following the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg football match between Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England on April 17, 2019. - The match ended 4-4, but Tottenham progressed to the semi-finals on goal difference. [Photo by Lindsey PARNABY / AFP]

The club’s “serious breaches” covers a period between 2012 and 2016, with the club being accused by UEFA of exaggerating its sponsorship revenue in accounts.

FFP was introduced in 2011 to prevent European clubs from overspending on players’ wages and restricts the amount club owners can put in to cover losses.

The Premier League champions have vehemently denied any wrongdoing throughout.

UCL 2018/19 - Manchester City's manager Pep Guardiola reacts after Tottenham Hotspur eliminated him at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north-west England on April 17, 2019. [Photo by Anthony Devlin / AFP]


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