Manchester City's case overturned, free to play Champions League!

Updated: 14 July, 2020 09:19 IST | AFP | Geneva

Pep Guardiola's Manchester side are free to play Champions League next season after Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifts two-year UEFA ban

Manchester City players celebrate a goal against Newcastle United during their English Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium last week
Manchester City players celebrate a goal against Newcastle United during their English Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium last week

Manchester City successfully overturned its two-year ban from the Champions League on Monday in a surprising legal victory. The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) upheld City's appeal against the UEFA ban, but imposed a 10 million euro (R85 crore) fine on the club for failing to cooperate with independent investigators. Some UEFA allegations accusing City of finance rules violations dating back several years were "time-barred," the court said.

Detailed verdict
CAS plans to publish a detailed written verdict within days which could help explain why UEFA's case did not comply with its own internal rules. Manchester City joins Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Galatasaray in beating UEFA in appeal cases in the past two years. The decision by the three CAS judges clears the team coached by Pep Guardiola to play in the group stage of the Champions League next season.

Coach Pep Guardiola. Pic/Getty Images
Coach Pep Guardiola. Pic/Getty Images

City's win guarantees tens of millions of dollars in UEFA prize money next season. It also protects against players leaving to seek Champions League action with another club. Guardiola had pledged to stay in Manchester "no matter what happens" in the courts. "The club welcomes the implications of today's ruling as a validation of the club's position and the body of evidence that it was able to present," City said in a statement. UEFA punished Man City in February for "serious breaches" of finance monitoring rules and failing to cooperate with investigators.

Spurs's Europa hopes alive
Meanwhile, Toby Alderweireld's towering header nine minutes from time gave Tottenham's season the tonic of a 2-1 win over Arsenal in the first north London derby on Sunday. Victory moves Spurs two points above their local rivals into eighth and keeps their chances of Europa League football next season alive.

Spanish League chief Tebas criticises CAS

La Liga President Javier Tebas trained his guns towards Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) after Manchester City's Champions League ban was overturned on Monday. "We have to reassess whether CAS is the appropriate body to which to appeal institutional decisions in football," Tebas told reporters as per "Switzerland is a country with a great history of arbitration, CAS is not up to standard."

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First Published: 14 July, 2020 08:42 IST

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