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Report: Manchester City’s UEFA ban appeal doubtful as CAS deals with coronavirus

General Views of Sport Venues after events postponed due to Covid-19

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 14: A general view outside the Etihad Stadium, home of Manchester City F.C, is seen as the scheduled match to be played today between Manchester City and Burnley was postponed due to Covid-19 on March 14, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

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Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year UEFA ban for violating Financial Fair Play Regulations (FFP) may be in doubt as the Court of Arbitration for Sport deals with the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

The club was expecting to have their hearing heard by the start of the summer but that may not come to fruition, as the court in Lausanne, Switzerland has postponed three hearing and has 16 cases booked until May 16 amid the coronavirus outbreak. Manchester City’s case has yet to be listed.

CAS Secretary General Matthieu Reeb said this on the court making adjustments when contacted by Reuters:

“In-person hearings are still being conducted, where the participants agree to do so,” Reeb wrote in an email statement. “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.”

Reeb added that parties involved in cases may request that legal decisions be made “solely on the basis of the written submissions, without a hearing being held”.

The club has denied any wrongdoing, with City CEO Ferran Soriano stating that the “best hope is that this will be finished before the beginning of the summer” following the submission of the appeal.

If the ban is upheld, City would not be able to compete in the 2020-21 Champions League, if they were to qualify. In addition, the defending champions would be banned from European competition in 2021-22.

“For the moment, there has been no significant impact on our operations but we will continue to be vigilant. Only three hearings have been postponed so far,” Reeb said.

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