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Chelsea’s Premier League rivals Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons.
In a shocking event on Friday, UEFA announced that City had been banned from playing in any European club competition in 2020-21 and 2021-22, including the Champions League and Europa League over ‘serious breaches’ of financial fair play.
City have also been fined £25m, and the reigning champions have vowed to take the matter up to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A statement from Manchester City read: “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.
“In December 2018, the Uefa chief investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun.
“The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked Uefa process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver.
“The club has formally complained to the Uefa disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.
“Simply put, this is a case initiated by Uefa, prosecuted by Uefa and judged by Uefa.
“With this prejudicial process now over, the club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”
UEFA ruling implies that the next based club would take the club’s place in Europe, suggesting that the side that finishes in fifth will take City’s spot in the Champions League next season.
According to Article 4.08 of UEFA’s admission criteria for European club competitions says: “A club which is not admitted to the competition is replaced by the next best-placed club in the top domestic championship of the same association, provided the new club fulfils the admission criteria.”