Alexander Ceferin insists Manchester City remain liked by UEFA and are an ‘asset’ to European football despite the club’s imminent ban from the Champions League.
The UEFA president has been discussing the Premier League champion’s two-season ban from European competition for breaking Financial Fair Play regulations, a verdict the club have appealed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
Man City are the bookmaker’s favourites to win the Champions League this season despite their impending ban, and Ceferin insists he would have no problem with seeing Pep Guardiola’s side lift Europe’s biggest prize despite the sanctions placed on the club ahead of next season by the governing body.
“First of all, before Court of Arbitration for Sport decides, we shouldn’t comment on that,” Ceferin told Sky Sports.
“But whoever wins Champions League, it’s good. Any club wins, I like it. It’s not a problem. I would like to see a fantastic final in Istanbul. That’s all I care.”
“I saw the decision one hour before it was published – I don't want to have an opinion.”
🗣 UEFA president, Aleksander Ceferin on the #ManCity ban.
— Man City Xtra (@City_Xtra) March 5, 2020
He added: “They are our asset, I respect them, they are our club. I don’t want to say that ‘now we don’t like Manchester City’. We like them, they are our club. But this process is a separate thing, that I don’t interfere.”
Ceferin added that UEFA’s sanctions are not solely directed towards the Etihad outfit, refusing to be drawn into commenting whether the governing body were ‘up for a legal fight’ with the club.
“We are not fighting anybody. We professionally defend our position,” he said.
“I don’t like that we speak about Manchester City only. We punished five to 10 clubs per season. It’s a regular procedure. Let’s see.”
The Slovenian also cast doubt on whether the situation could be resolved with an out of court settlement, though added he was unprepared to comment ahead of City’s appeal to CAS.
“I doubt but, again, I don’t want to comment. I don’t want to comment but I doubt it’s possible.”
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