Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has revealed he is confident that his team 'will be allowed' to play in next year's Champions League, despite the two-year ban they received from UEFA earlier in the season.
In February, UEFA fined Manchester City €30m and barred them from European competition for the next two seasons after ruling that the club had breached Financial Fair Play rules.
City launched a three-day appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) in June, the results of which are to be revealed later this month. Ever since the ban was announced, City's hierarchy have been keen to stress the club's innocence, an approach which their manager has continued.
Speaking after City's 4-0 win over Liverpool on Thursday, Guardiola declared: "We are ready. I have lot of confidence and trust with people that we will be allowed to be in the Champions League next year," as quoted by the Daily Mail.
"Of course we want to be there and on 13 July we will know the resolution so all the workers here, the players, the staff, the whole club can continue growing over the next few years."
While Guardiola may be assured that City will feature in next year's tournament, the Spaniard's side lead Real Madrid in this season's edition after a 2-1 win at the Santiago Bernabéu. The second leg of the remaining round of 16 ties were scheduled to be played in clubs' own stadiums before a mini-tournament in Portugal.
However, given the travel restrictions implemented by the UK government in response to the coronavirus pandemic, UEFA have announced that City's home game may be moved to Portugal if these measures do not change.
When asked about the fixture, Guardiola said: "We are incredibly excited to play against Madrid, the king of this competition, in the second leg. We would love to play here, in our city feeling close to our people, but we will go where UEFA decides. If it's Porto, we will go there."
Guardiola led Barcelona to two Champions League titles in three seasons between 2009 and 2011, but has failed to go beyond the quarter-finals with Manchester City yet, with some pointing to misfortune as the club's undoing.
The 49-year-old said: "I know exactly what has happened in the last years of the Champions League when it is a competition that the details make the difference. It will always be in my memories.
"Maybe one day we are lucky."
Source : 90min