Football

Uefa panel to recommend Champions League ban for Man City

European football's financial regulators are poised to recommend that newly minted English Premiership champions Manchester City be barred from the Champions League, the New York Times reported on Monday.

European football's governing body Uefa and the English Premier League launched an investigation this year, after allegations made in German magazine Der Spiegel that the club broke Financial Fair Play rules.

Members of the investigatory chamber of Uefa's financial control board, set up to analyse the accounts of clubs suspected of breaking cost-control regulations, met two weeks ago in Switzerland to finalise their conclusions, the newspaper said.

"The investigatory panel's leader, the former prime minister of Belgium Yves Leterme, will have the final say on the submission to a separate adjudicatory chamber, which could be filed as soon as this week. The body is expected to seek at least a one-season ban," the NY Times said.

It was unclear if such a ban, if levied, would be enforced next season or in the 2020-21 campaign, the NY Times said, noting that with qualifying for Europe's most prestigious and lucrative club championship set to start next month, there is little time to finalise a sanction.

Manchester City would also have the right to appeal such a ban to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The club vigorously denied any financial irregularities, saying in March they welcomed Uefa's investigation as a chance to clear their name.

City, who were fined 60 million euros (S$92.2m) and subjected to squad, wage and spending caps in a 2014 settlement agreed with Uefa following a previous breach of the rules.

But the club added that the claims made in Der Spiegel were an "organised and clear" attempt to damage their reputation. - AFP

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