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Manchester City back in Champions League …as CAS lifts 2-yr sanction

Manchester City has won their battle with UEFA and their European ban has been lifted.

The Premier League club was banned from European football for two years in February after UEFA found they had committed ‘serious breaches’ of its Financial Fair Play regulations.

City, adamant that they had done nothing wrong, appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who heard the case last month.

But CAS announced yesterday that City did not disguise equity funding but did fail to co-operate with UEFA. The exclusion was lifted while a £27m fine was reduced to £9m.

Sportsmail understands that any challenge of the ruling by UEFA to the Swiss Federal Courts is ‘unlikely’ at this stage. 

CAS said: ‘Most of the alleged breaches reported by the Adjudicatory Chamber of the CFCB (UEFA’S Club Financial Control Body) were either not established or time-barred. 

‘As the charges with respect to any dishonest concealment of equity funding were clearly more significant violations than obstructing the CFCB’s investigations, it was not appropriate to impose a ban on participating in UEFA’s club competitions for MCFC’s failure to cooperate with the CFCB’s investigations alone.’ 

City was also quick to release a statement of their own, welcoming the news that they will be able to play in the Champions League next season.

The club said: ‘Whilst Manchester City and its legal advisors are yet to review the full ruling by CAS, the club welcomes the implications of the 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.’ 

Just minutes after the decision was announced, UEFA released a statement on their own website, too.

It read: ‘UEFA takes note of the decision taken by the CAS to reduce the sanction imposed on Manchester City FC by UEFA for alleged breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play regulations.

‘UEFA notes that the CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all of the CFCB’s conclusions in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the 5-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations.

‘Over the last few years, Financial Fair Play has played a significant role in protecting clubs and helping them become financially sustainable and UEFA and ECA remain committed to its principles.’ 

UEFA launched a probe following the publication of hacked emails in the German media. On February 14, they announced that City had broken the rules by overstating sponsorship revenue between 2012 and 2016. Along with the ban, City was fined £26.9m. –Mailonline

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