March 16 – Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year ban from European football for allegedly breaking financial fair play rules is suddenly up in the air as a result of the coronavirus.
City had hoped to have their hearing heard by early summer but agency reports say the Court of Arbitration for Sport has already postponed three hearings and has 16 cases already scheduled until May 18 – not including that of City.
CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb told Reuters that CAS was “monitoring the situation closely and continually adapting to the changing circumstances”.
“When participants are located in high-risk regions, we are offering the possibility of using video or phone links or postponing to a later date.”
City were banned by UEFA on February 14 and fined €30 million for “serious breaches” of break-even regulations.
The club, who have denied wrongdoing, appealed the decision and last month their CEO Ferran Soriano said they wanted “an early resolution” and that the “best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer”.
But with so many domestic leagues still to be completed and Switzerland, where CAS is based, badly hit by Covid-19, City’s hearing could be delayed beyond the point at which participating clubs in next season’s European competitions are determined.
UEFA will need to know which English teams are to be involved by the time of the group stage draw on August 27.
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