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Guardiola Slams Ceferin Over Financial Probe Claims

The Slovenian's remarks came as City await a Premier League hearing after being charged with 115 breaches of their domestic competition's profit and sustainability rules.


guardiola
File photo of Manchester City’s Spanish manager Pep Guardiola. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP).

 

Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola has slammed Aleksander Ceferin after the UEFA president claimed European football’s governing body was right to punish the Premier League champions for financial breaches.

UEFA banned City from European competition for two years in February 2020 for breaching its Financial Fair Play rules, but the ban was later overturned by the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CAS found that some of the charges against City were “not established” and others were time-barred.

Ceferin remains adamant his organisation was correct, telling the Daily Telegraph on Thursday: “We know we were right. We wouldn’t decide if we didn’t think we were right.”

The Slovenian’s remarks came as City await a Premier League hearing after being charged with 115 breaches of their domestic competition’s profit and sustainability rules.

A furious Guardiola said that by speaking out now, Ceferin had not respected City’s ongoing process with the Premier League.

“As the lawyer that he is, as president of UEFA, he should wait – and after do whatever he wants,” he told reporters on Thursday.

“He has to respect it and he has to wait. He has a lot of jobs to do at UEFA. A lawyer should respect the procedure. He knows we have the right to defend ourselves.”

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City will again be without striker Erling Haaland for their FA Cup fourth tie at Tottenham on Friday.

But the Norway striker is nearing a return after almost two months out with a foot injury.

“He is on the verge of coming back. For Friday he is not ready but he is close,” Guardiola said.

“The training camp was good, he trained some sessions. The last few days he’s trained but it is not perfect and we will wait a little bit more.”

John Stones is back in contention after an ankle injury but fellow defender Manuel Akanji remains on the sidelines. Goalkeeper Ederson is also fit after limping off in City’s last game at Newcastle.

City have lost on all five of their previous visits to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium without even scoring a goal.

Calling on the FA Cup holders to break their duck, Guardiola said: “That is the reality, (and shows) how tough it is for us.

“Of course this is a ‘final’, a knockout game and to go through we have to score goals. Always it is a new opportunity to break it.

“The feeling is most of the times we played really good but the reality is there, no goals, five defeats – so they were much better than us.”

AFP