Manchester City banned from European competition for the next two seasons by UEFA

Reigning English Premier League soccer champion Manchester City has been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined $32.5 million dollars by European soccer's governing body UEFA,

after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play rules.

UEFA said in a statement on Friday (February 14) that City had committed "serious breaches" of the rules,

while the Premier League club swiftly said they were "disappointed but not surprised" by the "prejudicial" decision and intended to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

The ruling, if upheld, would mean City would not be eligible to compete in next season's Champions League, Europe's top club competition.

FFP rules are intended to prevent clubs receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals with organisations related to the owners.

UEFA's Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), said City, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi royal family had broken the rules by "overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts submitted between 2012 and 2016"

and added that the club "failed to cooperate in the investigation".

In 2019 City became the first club to win all 3 English domestic cups in a single season, but have never reached a Champions League final.

As things stand, they remain in contention this year though and Pep Guardiola's side are due to play Real Madrid in the last 16, with the first leg set for February 26.