In a major blow, defending English Premier League Champions Manchester City have been banned from competing in all European competitions for 2 years. The ban comes in effect from 2021 season and will prevent the Citizens from participating in Champions League and the Europa League. According to UEFA which is the European governing body for football, City has been banned for breaching the Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules.
Why? What happened? According to the FFP rules set by the governing body, football clubs are prohibited from spending more money to acquire new players, in comparison to what they earn. Every football team targets new talent for their side and end up paying a huge amount of money for the player. Sometimes, young players who have potential are bought by the teams for astronomical amounts which lock their future at a club.
Manchester City is owned by Abu Dhabi based Oil baron Sheikh Mansour who has pumped a lot of money into the club. According to the charges against City management, UEFA has said that Sheikh Mansour illegally routed his money through sponsors in Abu Dhabi which helped his team show huge profits. As a result, the team could buy more and more players which benefited them in some way or another.
So what is the full penalty and what happens next? Apart from the 2-year-long ban, UEFA has also imposed a $32.4 million fine on City. The management of the club has appealed against the ban in Court of Arbitration for Sports which is the top court in the world of sports.
Written by: Yash Chawla. Yash is former Anchor of NDTV with over 9 years of experience as a sports journalist