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After Man City, UEFA back in court for Trabzonspor ban case

GENEVA (AP) — Another European soccer club banned from the Champions League for breaking financial monitoring rules challenged UEFA at sport’s highest court on Thursday. Three days after Court of Arbitration for Sport judges overturned Manchester City’s two-year ban, Turkish title contender Trabzonspor had its hearing to appeal against exclusion for one season in a Financial Fair Play (FFP) case.

A verdict is expected before an Aug. 3 deadline set by UEFA for national soccer federations to enter clubs for the Champions League and Europa League next season. Trabzonspor is second in the Turkish Super League, four points behind Istanbul Basaksehir, with two rounds left. It is five points ahead of Sivasspor in third.

The league winner goes direct to the Champions League group stage. The runner-up should enter the second qualifying round, needing to beat three opponents to advance to the groups. If Trabzonspor loses its case, Istanbul Basaksehir is assured of the group-stage place and tens of millions of euros (dollars) in UEFA prize money.

UEFA’s club finance panel banned Trabzonspor last month for missing financial targets in 2019 set as part of a settlement deal three years earlier for other breaches of FFP monitoring. The rules assess income and spending on player transfers and wages by clubs that qualify for European club competitions.

Trabzonspor’s case is more routine than the complex investigation of Man City, whose legal win on Monday raised doubts about the future of UEFA financial rules. The CAS judges’ detailed reasons in the Man City case are expected to be published next week. The court deducted 10 million euros ($11.3 million) of the English club’s Champions League prize money for failing to cooperate with UEFA’s investigation.

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