Manchester City’s appeal against their two-year UEFA football ban is pending as the Sports Arbitral Tribunal (CAS) in Switzerland deals with the impact of the coronavirus.
City had hoped for a hearing at the start of the summer, but this seems unrealistic given that the Lausanne court has already postponed three hearings and already has 16 cases scheduled until May 18, the City case not yet listed.
Cas secretary general Matthieu Reeb told Reuters that the court is already making adjustments and “is monitoring the situation closely and continuously adapting to changing circumstances”.
“In-person hearings are still ongoing, where participants agree to do so,” he added in an email statement.
“When participants are located in high-risk areas, we offer the option of using video or telephone links or postponing to a later date.”
Reeb said parties in cases can also request that a decision be made “only on the basis of written submissions, without a hearing taking place”.
City was banned by UEFA on February 14 and fined 30 million euros for “serious violations” of the European football breakeven rules known as the Financial Fair Play (FFP).
The club, which denied the wrongdoing, appealed the decision and last month CEO Ferran Soriano said it wanted “a quick resolution” and that “the best hope is that it will be finished before the start of summer “.
The decision, if confirmed, would mean that City would not be able to participate in the 2020-2021 Champions League if it qualified again for the best club competition in Europe. They would also be banned from European competition during the 2021-2022 season.
But the qualification process for the Champions League – as well as all aspects of professional football – is also clouded by the plight of the coronavirus, as national leagues across the continent have suspended play.
UEFA is organizing a video conference of all of its member associations and representatives of leagues, clubs and players on Tuesday to decide how to proceed this season and to discuss a possible postponement of Euro 2020.
“For the moment, there has been no significant impact on our operations, but we will continue to be vigilant. So far, only three hearings have been postponed, “added Reeb.