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13th Jul 2020

Manchester City have Champions League ban lifted by Court of Arbitration for Sport

Wayne Farry

The club will play in the Champions League next season

Manchester City have had their two-year ban from the Champions League lifted by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in a decision announced on Monday morning. The club has also had a fine handed down by UEFA reduced to €10 million.

City had initially been banned from Europe’s top competition for the next two years by UEFA for what European football’s governing body ruled was the club’s wilful disguising of equity funding as sponsorship.

That initial ban would’ve seen the club left out of the Champions League next season, and had given other Premier League sides hope of sealing a place in the competition with a fifth place finish.

City’s decision to appeal the ban at the CAS however has proved dividends after the court ruled that the accusations of disguised equity funding “was either not established or time barred”, but found that the club had failed to cooperate with UEFA authorities.

In a statement released after CAS announced their decision, the club said:

“Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), 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. The Club wishes to thank the panel members for their diligence and the due process that they administered.”

Pep Guardiola remain in this year’s Champions League, which has been delayed due to the coronavirus outbreak. They defeated Real Madrid in the first leg of their second tie in February, and will reprise the second leg when the tournament continues in August.