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Manchester City appeal 2-year Champions League ban for FFP violation

Manchester City appeal 2-year Champions League ban for FFP violation

ESPN

Manchester City have formally lodged their appeal against UEFA's two-season ban from the Champions League to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

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UEFA announced on Feb. 14 that the reigning Premier League champions will be excluded from the Champions League for the 2020-21 and 2021-22 campaigns and have also been fined €30 million ($33m) for "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts" and failing "to cooperate in the investigation," according to findings by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber.

City said they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the ruling and have now formally lodged their appeal to CAS, the highest court in sport, who said: "It is not possible to indicate at this time when a final award in this matter will be issued."

It said it would first invite written submissions from the two parties while a panel of arbitrators was convened. That would be followed by the hearing, which is held in private unless the parties agree to a public one.

Meanwhile, a source told ESPN's Rodrigo Faez that Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola is worried how the ban could affect his players but that he will remain at the club "as long as he is happy."

Guardiola says he has been shown proof Manchester City are innocent of the financial irregularities that has seen the club hit with a ban.

"We were under suspicion for a long time, we have the right to appeal and I trust the people in my club,"  Guardiola said. "They explain the reasons, they showed me the arguments and the proofs. We are optimistic that finally if we deserve to be in the Champions League we can do it next season, if finally it doesn't happen we have to accept and move forward.

"My trust is with the club. I know them. We are going to see what happens with CAS."

City face Real Madrid in the Champions League round-of-16 first leg on Wednesday, their first match in the competition since the ban was announced.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.

ESPN