Football

Guardiola: City deserve apology from Mourinho and other critics

Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said his team deserved an apology, after their two-year Uefa ban from European football was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Guardiola said the club's reputation had been damaged by the furore around allegations that they broke Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules and fired back at comments from managers Jose Mourinho and Juergen Klopp.

The CAS on Monday said City did not violate FFP rules by disguising equity funding as sponsorship, but imposed a reduced fine of 10 million euros (S$15.7m) for failing to cooperate with European football's governing body.

Klopp had described the CAS verdict as "not a good day for football", while Mourinho said it was a disgraceful decision "because if City are not guilty, then they should not be punished with the fine".

In response, Guardiola said: "Jose and all the managers should know that we were damaged. We should be apologised (to).

"Because, like I said many times, if we did something wrong, we will accept absolutely the decisions by Uefa and CAS because we did something wrong.

"We have the right to defend ourselves when we believe what we have done is correct, is right. Three independent judges said this."

Guardiola also insisted that it was a good day for football "because we play with the same rules of FFP as all the clubs in Europe". "All of them. (If) we break this FFP, we will be banned," he added. "The presumption of innocence was not there and after, when it happened and it was right, of course we are incredibly happy because we can defend what we have done on the pitch."

Guardiola also took aim at Spanish league president Javier Tebas, a long-standing critic of City, who had questioned whether CAS was the right court for deciding such matters.

"He is (an) incredible legal expert from what I see, so next time we will ask in which court, which judges we have to go," he said.

"Normally these kind of people, when the sentence is good for him it's perfect, like happened many times in Spain. Right now, but when the sentence is against, the problem is for the other ones.

" We will be in the Champions League next season, Senor Tebas, because what we did, we did it properly." - REUTERS

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