TURIN: Manchester City landed in their owners’ home of Abu Dhabi today for a title-celebrating match still under a cloud of uncertainty over Financial Fair Play.

It had been expected that a decision on City and the other eight clubs in breach of UEFA’s new cash-control rules would be announced last week since Friday was the supposed deadline for possible appeals.

However, with the new Premier League champions believed to be the only unresolved case, Friday came and went. Indications of a postponement only until Monday – because City were supposedly considering fighting on – also proved unfounded.

City play Al Ain tomorrow. England’s Joe Hart and James Milner travelled with the squad but are not expected to play.

The longer a decision remains outstanding the greater the pressure on the appeal board and, possibly beyond that, the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Gianni Infantino, general secretary of the European federation, denied any concern over decision dates after a meeting of the executive committee in Turin.

He said: “There is a process in place which is not concluded. What we have had to communicate is that there are still nine clubs involved in investigations with the investigatory chamber.

“This is still the case and when they either reach a settlement or a confirmation that there is no settlement this will be published.

“In terms of deadlines it’s still quite well on track so I’m not worried or anxious or concerned. It’s a process. It’s normal that time has to be taken to analyse everything in a detailed way.”

Other issues

On other issues the executive committee united with the strategy council in repeating a call for strict punishments for racist incidents at matches and called upon federations to implement “strong measures.”

Incidents have erupted recently in Italy, Russia and Spain.

September 19 was confirmed as the day on which UEFA’s executive will vote for the hosts of the closing stages matches in the pan-European Euro 2020 tournament.

Infantino denied that UEFA should have been disappointed that just 19 of its 54 member associations applied to host matches.

He said: “Quite the contrary, we were happy we had 19 bidders covering the whole of Europe. In the beginning some people were saying we were crazy and we might never have had the necessary 13 countries but now we have 19.

“Some are new projects, some are existing stadia. It’s a very beautiful picture of European football.”


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