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Guardiola 'confident' as Man City await CAS verdict on Champions League ban


Pep Guardiola is feeling "confident" as Manchester City prepare to learn their fate when the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) rules on the club's appeal against a two-year UEFA competition ban.

European football's governing body announced the sanction in February, along with a €30million (£26.8m) fine, after finding City had committed "serious breaches" of Financial Fair Play regulations.

City swiftly announced their intention to appeal to CAS and their case was heard in June via video conference.

Pep Guardiola's team have already secured a top-four place in the Premier League this season, while they could add the FA Cup and the Champions League to the already retained EFL Cup.

Monday's verdict is likely to have far-reaching ramifications for the club's short and medium-term future, but Guardiola is optimistic over the outcome.

When asked if he would be able to sleep ahead of the ruling, Guardiola told reporters: "I'm going to sleep because I can't do anything [about the verdict]. I would love to do something but I can't.

"I'm confident in the club, I know the defence and their argument. We have to wait, I know there are many clubs in the Premier League waiting too, but we are going to wait.

"It was issued a long time ago, maybe 90 per cent of the people on the pitch and backroom staff were not there [at the club], but we will see and respect the decisions.

"I feel fully confident in what the club has done and allowed us to play in the Champions League next season."

Those Premier League clubs chasing European places will take a great interest in the announcement too, as an extra spot will open up if the ban is either upheld or reduced to cover just the 2020-21 season.

But Guardiola had nothing to say to those teams, instead focusing again on City and his belief they will be proven to have committed no offences.

"We wait until Monday and after Monday, what UEFA says, the club will make a statement, and in my press conference I will give my answers, but now I cannot say anything else," he said.

"We have been second [in the Premier League] again, for six or seven years in a row we are in the Champions League, it's a joy to watch our team, I love my guys, and we are ready for the rest of this season to do our best and I'm confident.

"I don't know anything about this [the decision of CAS], just a feeling, I'm confident because I know what the club has done and will allow us to play the Champions League next season, and not just the Champions League, but to be recognised by everyone that nothing wrong happened."

Similarly, Guardiola seemed unconcerned about what it would mean for him personally if City's appeal proved unsuccessful.

"We wait until Monday, I think [City] will clarify everything in the next month in terms of the short-term future of the club and that's all," he added. "I have the feeling the club support me and that's the most important thing.

"I have friends being above me in the hierarchy in higher positions than me, and we are incredibly honest. If we can do it, we can do it, if we can't, we can't.

"I know they try to do the best for the club and that's why we can maintain the standards we achieved in the past, being in the Champions League again, and that's a great news for us."

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