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AFP
July 15, 2020

Guardiola ‘happy’, but rivals brand City let-off a ‘disgrace’

Sports

AFP
July 15, 2020

LONDON: Pep Guardiola said Tuesday a weight had been lifted from Manchester City after their European ban was overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), but rival managers Jose Mourinho and Jurgen Klopp criticised the ruling.

The court on Monday lifted a two-year ban imposed earlier this year on the Premier League club by European football’s governing body UEFA over Financial Fair Play (FFP) breaches. “I am incredibly happy for the decision. It shows all the people said about the club wasn’t true,” said Guardiola.

Tottenham manager Mourinho said the court’s decision was a “disaster” and showed FFP, which limits club’s spending in line with their revenue, is now dead, while Liverpool boss Klopp said City’s reprieve was a bad day for football.

However, Guardiola feels it is City who are owed an apology. “We should be apologised to because if we did something wrong we would accept the decision from UEFA, because we did something wrong,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

Mourinho said if they were guilty, City should be banned — but if they were innocent, they should not have to pay a penny. “It’s a disgraceful decision, because if Man City is not guilty then to be punished with some millions is a disgrace. If you are not guilty, you are not punished. By the other way if you are guilty you should be banned so it is also a disgraceful decision. In any case the decision is a disaster,” said Mourinho.

Klopp is hopeful City’s participation in next season’s Champions League will help his side’s chances of retaining the Premier League. But the German believes any demise of FFP, which has helped bring down debt across the European game, would be bad for football.

“From a personal point of view, I’m happy Manchester City can play in next season’s Champions League, because if they have 12 games less, I don’t see any chance for any other teams in the Premier League,” said Klopp.

“I don’t wish anything bad on anyone but I don’t think it was a good day for football. Financial Fair Play is a good idea and it was there to protect teams and the competition, and clubs have to make sure the money they want to spend is from the right sources.”