MATCHDAY PROGRAMME

UEFA president insists “we know we were right” to ban Man City from Europe

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin has said he knows UEFA “were right” to ban Man City from the Champions League, despite the punishment later being overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

It has been nearly a year since Man City were charged by the Premier League for 115 breaches of the league’s financial rules. Last week, it was revealed a date has been set for their hearing but hasn’t been made public.

Two years previous, in February 2020, UEFA tried to ban Man City from the Champions League for two seasons, but this decision was overturned as a result of Man City‘s appeal to CAS.

Now, speaking to the Telegraph, UEFA president Ceferin has insisted they “were right” to ban the club.

UEFA Logo (Jamie Gardner/PA)

Ceferin was asked if guilty verdicts in the Premier League case would act as vindication for UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body’s decision in 2020.

In response, the Slovenian said: “We know we were right. We wouldn’t decide if we didn’t think we were right.

“As a trial lawyer for 25 years, I know that, sometimes, you win a case that you are sure you will lose.

“And, sometimes, you lose a case when you’re sure [you will win]. You just simply have to respect in a serious democracy the decision of the court.

“I don’t want to speak about the case in England. But I trust that the decision of our independent body was correct. I didn’t enter into this decision.”

Man City won their appeal mainly due to some of their evidence being time-barred and the prosecutors being unable to provide enough other proof, in the eyes of the court.

This evidence was deemed to be time-barred, because UEFA didn’t bring the suit until later than five years after the wrongdoings were set to have taken place.

However, the club were still fined about £8.6 million for failing to cooperate with investigators.

UEFA could have since re-litigated, but they haven’t. Journalist Nick Harris guessed the reason was political and called the whole saga a “circus.”

Meanwhile, Rui Pinto of Football Leaks, who have spread damning documents in the past about Man City, replied: “Ceferin knows, I know, and everyone knows that City flagrantly broke FFP rules. But it’s exactly as you say, the circus rumbles on.”