Man City deserve Uefa ban, says Arsene Wenger, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Man City deserve Uefa ban, says Arsene Wenger

However, Neville believes ban will be overturned

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said he has little sympathy for Manchester City over their ban from European competition.

"The rules are what they are and people who don't respect them... have to be punished," said Wenger at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Berlin, where Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton and football superstar Lionel Messi shared the Sportsman of the Year award.

"If it is proven that this has been done on purpose, you cannot let that go unpunished."

On Friday, Uefa announced City had been banned from continental competition for two seasons for what the body said were "serious" financial fair-play breaches between 2012 and 2016.

The wealthy English Premier League club, who were also fined 30 million euros (S$45.2m), are taking the matter to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Since the Sheikh Mansour takeover in 2008, which put the financial might of Abu Dhabi behind them, City have won 10 major trophies - including four EPL titles.

However, Wenger drew the line at suggestions City should be stripped of some titles as the result of the financial fair-play breaches.

"I don't know the rules well enough to see what kind of punishment there are when rules have not been respected," said the 70-year-old, who managed Arsenal from 1996 until 2018.


But former Manchester United defender Gary Neville has backed City to win an appeal against the ban imposed by a "hopeless" Uefa.

"City will beat Uefa. I have no faith in Uefa whatsoever," the Sky Sports pundit said on Monday.

"Essentially, they are a hopeless organisation who will just apply what would be erratic disciplinary sanctions for different things and City will beat them in the courts.

"It will get stuck in the courts for some time, but City will win in the end."

Jamie Carragher, a fellow Sky pundit, questioned the timing of Uefa's decision given Pep Guardiola's City face Spanish giants Real Madrid in the first leg of their last-16 tie in the Champions League next week.

"I can't believe they are in the competition now. What would happen if City win this competition this season?" said the former Liverpool defender.

"It would make a mockery of the competition. Uefa will be desperate for City to get beat by Real, absolutely desperate. Can you imagine people from Uefa having to give the cup in Istanbul to a City player?

"City are in the competition now and, if they win it, it will almost be tainted. Uefa should have either taken City out of the competition ... or left this decision until the end of the season." - AFP