UEFA lifts two-year European ban on Manchester City
Coming as a huge relief for team Manchester City and its fans worldwide, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) lifted the club's two-year ban from European club competitions on Monday, July 13th.
The CAS had further found Man City guilty of not cooperating with the CFCB (UEFA Club Financial Control Body) investigations.
But in the absence of any conclusive evidence being presented, the ban had to be lifted. The club will still have to pay a fine, which has been reduced from €30 million (£25m/$33m) to €10m (£9m/$11m).
The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Tribunal Arbitral Du Sport) established in 1984 formed to settle disputes related to sports through arbitration is headquartered in Lausanne, Switzerland.
To understand the enormity of the latest CAS verdict on Man City, it is essential to gauge the potential repercussions if Man City's two-year ban would have been upheld.
This coupled with the lack of allure of Europe's premier football competition, the club's activities in the transfer market could have been seriously curtailed.
There were reports circulating that several top stars of the club like Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling were under the radar of clubs like Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus, ready to pounce if the situation for the English club would have turned worse.
Analysts predicted the lack of UCL football could have stymied Man City's development by almost 2 to 4 years.
UEFA's investigation into the matter was prompted by the publication of a number of allegations by German magazine Der Spiegel, which drew on documents said to have been obtained by whistleblowers Football Leaks in 2018.
Animosity had been brewing between City and European football's governing body for almost a decade now and the latest clash has further strained the relationship.
Fans of City had made it a habit to boo whenever the UEFA's anthem was being played ahead of Champions League games – something that has intensified since 2014, when the club first fell foul of Financial Fair Play.
If the ban would have been in place, the team finishing fifth in the Premier League would have qualified for next season's Champions League (the Top 4 teams usually qualify for the UCL as a rule).
For a moment, it seemed that a struggling Leicester City and strong aspirants Manchester United and 6th and 7th placed Wolves and Sheffield United were all in with a chance for UCL qualification.
Manchester City themselves look certain to end their Premier League season on the 2nd spot and book their 9th consecutive entry into the Champions League.
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