Man City to learn fate of CAS appeal in early July

Omnisport

Manchester City will likely learn the fate of their appeal against their Champions League ban in early July, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) has announced.

The Premier League champions are seeking to overturn UEFA's decision to ban the club from European competition for the next two seasons and fine them €30million (£27.2m) after finding them guilty of Financial Fair Play regulations.

City's hearing at CAS began on Monday and concluded at 16.15 local time on Wednesday, with proceedings having been conducted by video call. The arbitration panel will now start deliberations before confirming a decision.

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In a statement, CAS said: "The decision is expected to be issued during the first half of July 2020. The exact date will be communicated in advance."

City were punished in February after they were found to have committed "serious breaches" of UEFA's club licensing and financial fair play (FFP) regulations.

UEFA's independent Adjudicatory Chamber of its Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) also fined City €30m after finding they had overstated sponsorship revenues in accounts submitted to European football's governing body between 2012 and 2016.

City have persistently denied wrongdoing in relation to the matter, which stemmed from a series of articles published by Der Spiegel in November 2018, drawing on information purportedly obtained by the whistleblower Football Leaks.

"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," read a statement at the time from City, who UEFA said had "failed to cooperate" with the investigation.

Manager Pep Guardiola is out of contract in June 2021, although the former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss reiterated his commitment in the wake of UEFA's sanctions.

"Unless they sack me, which can happen, I will not leave," he said. "Why should I? I love this club, I like to be here, and after we have seen the sentence [appeal] we will focus on what we have to do.

"I want to stay to continue to help the club and maintain this level as long as possible. That's not just because I have a contract, we want to fight to the end for the people who support this club."

In an interview with HLN, star midfielder Kevin De Bruyne suggested he might be happy to stay at City in the event of a reduction to a one-year ban, although a two-year Champions League absence would force him to consider his options.

"I'm just waiting," he said. "The club told us they are going to appeal, and they are almost 100 per cent sure they are right. That's why I'm waiting to see what will happen. I trust my team.

"Once the decision is made, I will review everything. Two years would be long, but in the case of one year I might see."

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