Sports lawyer John Mehrzad has suggested that Manchester City could yet play in the Champions League next season despite their two-year ban by UEFA.
Mehrzad says that the Citizens will ask for a suspension of the ban from the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) while their appeal is being heard:
“It is very likely indeed, practically certain, that City will seek provisional measures from the CAS”
Following Manchester City’s 2-0 win over West Ham last night, manager Pep Guardiola also said that he expects to be playing in the Champions League next campaign:
“I’m confident that we’ll play in Europe next season. I’m pretty sure we’ll defend our position.”
This also leaves a great deal of uncertainty over Champions League qualification. As things stand, fifth place will be enough to qualify for the group stages next campaign, leaving the likes of Tottenham, Sheffield United, Manchester United, Wolves and Everton all vying for that position in the table.
For City, though, their only concern will be getting this ban overturned. They are insistent that they have done nothing wrong and will be expecting a fair hearing from CAS in the coming months.