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After breaking rules: Man City face FIFA transfer ban

17 March 2019

File image of Pep Guardiola.

A source with knowledge of the investigation told The Times that the breaches alleged to have been committed by City were very similar to those that led to Chelsea being sanctioned, and that it looks certain that the same two-window transfer ban is imposed.

If found guilty by the world governing body, City would likely appeal, which could leave them free to sign players this summer, but whatever materialises Guardiola is confident he already has the players to cope.

It seems the ban would be stemming from the relationship City forged with FC Nordsjaelland and the Right to Dream football academy located in Ghana - owned by Tom Vernon who is the president of the Dutch club.

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If true, that would be a breach of the rules preventing the third-party ownership of players, as City could be argued to have undue influence over another club's players. Federation Internationale de Football Association bans the transfer of under-18s to different countries unless they meet strict criteria.

The club issued a statement last month: "We will not be providing any comment on out-of-context materials purported to have been hacked or stolen from City Football Group and City personnel and associated people. I don't have any more comments", Guardiola said.

City were drawn against Premier League rivals Tottenham in the Champions League quarter-finals on Friday and Guardiola knows his side will have to be at their best to control their potent attacking threat. I was clear on my opinion.

"I understand your job but I answered five, six or seven questions last week". The club deal with the process. "They [the owners] don't call me and explain what they are doing".

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Asked if his squad could withstand a transfer ban, he added: "The squad is really good".

"I am concerned about what I have to do, I can not speak every day about this".

As well as Chelsea, Spanish trio Atletico Madrid, Barcelona and Real Madrid have all been punished for signing under-age players from overseas in the past. Even though the bans of Real Madrid and Barcelona were cut short, the appeals from Chelsea and Atletico Madrid were turned down without a blink of an eye.

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After breaking rules: Man City face FIFA transfer ban