The Court of Arbitration for Sport has confirmed Manchester City’s appeal against the club’s two-year ban from the Champions League and €30m (£25.2m) fine.
The court said it was unable to put a timeframe on when the dispute will be resolved by, with City’s involvement in Uefa competitions next season hanging in the balance.
It is yet to be confirmed whether City’s ban will be suspended while the appeal is ongoing. If it is not, the Premier League’s fifth-place team at the end of the season will provisionally qualify for next season’s Champions League.
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If City’s ban is to apply during the 2020-21 campaign, a final decision in the case must come before the first English club enters a Uefa competition next season, with the Europa League’s second qualifying round being the most likely cut-off point.
A Cas statement read: “The Court of Arbitration for Sport (Cas) has registered an appeal filed by Manchester City football club against the Union of European Football Associations (Uefa).
“The appeal is directed against the decision of the adjudicatory chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) dated 14 February 2020 in which Manchester City was deemed to have contravened UEFA’s Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations and sanctioned with exclusion from the next two seasons of UEFA club competitions for which the club would qualify and ordered to pay a fine of €30 million.
“Generally speaking, Cas appeal arbitration procedures involve an exchange of written submissions between the parties while a panel of Cas arbitrators is being convened. Once the panel has been formally constituted it issues procedural directions, including, inter alia, with respect to the holding of a hearing. Following the hearing, the panel deliberates and then issues its decision in the form of an arbitral award.
“It is not possible to indicate at this time when a final award in this matter will be issued,” it added.
Following Uefa’s announcement of the two-year ban and fine earlier this month, City said they would launch an appeal to Cas “at the earliest opportunity”.
“The club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position,” a club statement read.
City failed in an attempt to stop Uefa’s investigation at Cas in November, arguing that the governing body did not have the authority to bring a case against them.
Cas ruled that City’s appeal was “inadmissible” but “not without merit” and described City’s suggestion that Uefa officials leaked details of their investigation to the media as “worrisome”.
If City’s appeal fails at Cas, the club is likely to take their case to the civil courts. The Swiss Federal Supreme Court has jurisdiction over Uefa and could overturn the ban and fine.
Uefa launched their investigation into City following the publication of leaked emails which appeared to show that the club inflated sponsorship deals in order to comply with FFP.
City return to the Champions League on Wednesday night in a last-16 first leg against Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu.
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