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Marseille faces UEFA punishment for breaking financial rules

NYON, Switzerland (AP) — Marseille is the latest club facing UEFA punishment for breaking Financial Fair Play rules. UEFA said Thursday a judging panel will rule on whether the French club breached an agreement imposed to settle previous financial problems.

The 1993 European champion follows Manchester City as a high-profile club falling foul of the financial rules that monitor clubs who qualify for UEFA competitions. Marseille is in second place in the French league under coach André Villas-Boas and set to enter the lucrative Champions League group stage next season. That prize could be at risk.

The American-owned club “did not comply with the conditions” it agreed to for this season, UEFA said. UEFA’s agreement with Marseille last July included forfeiting 2 million euros ($2.24 million) in competition prize money. Up to 4 million euros ($4.48 million) could be deducted in future years, though Marseille did not qualify for the Champions League or Europa League this season.

Marseille agreed not to exceed a loss of 30 million euros ($33.6 million) under FFP calculations this season, and limit the ratio of player salaries compared to overall revenue. A judgment in the case is likely to come in the off-season before French clubs begin play in UEFA competitions.

UEFA said Lechia Gdańsk of Poland was also referred to club finance judges for failing to supply required account details.

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