Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 7th 2014 Contents A53
Wednesday, May 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
PARIS---Paris Saint-Germain coach Laurent
Blanc expects that potential UEFA sanctions
for the Qatar-owned club s big spending will
make it tough to select Champions League
squads next season.
It was reported yesterday that UEFA plans
to fine PSG 60 million euros ($83.6 million),
and cut the usual quota of senior players for
its Champions League squad from 25 to 21---
including four club-trained players---as pun-
ishment for breaching its Financial Fair Play
Blanc said such a penalty "maybe has gone
a bit unnoticed" but would deny PSG some
options in future transfers and selections.
"It might not be the most diabolical pun-
ishment, but it s even more difficult if the
sanction of 25 to 21 players comes in," Blanc
PSG reached the Champions League quar-
terfinals this season with Zlatan Ibrahimovic
leading a squad of expensively bought talent.
Two untried teenagers, forward Hervin Ongen-
da and goalkeeper Mike Maignan, helped meet
a quota of four players who had spent three
years at the club since the age of 15.
UEFA should announce the first sanctions
within days against nine clubs which broke
rules designed to control spending on transfers
and wages since 2011. UEFA has refused to
MADRID---Coach Carlo Ancelotti wants Real
Madrid to focus on winning its last three games
and not the points permutations involved in the
Spanish league title race.
Madrid travels to Real Valladolid today knowing
victory lifts it one point above Barcelona and within
two of leader Atletico Madrid with two games left
for all three.
"The mathematics of it say there is still no cham-
pion, so we just have to believe in ourselves and win
the last three games," Ancelotti said. "I m certain all
teams will try to win their final games. We saw sur-
prising results last week. All the teams are fighting
right up to the last minute."
Atletico needs four points to clinch its first title
since 1996, which would mean even if Madrid wins
its last three games and ties its city rival it wouldn t
be enough because Atletico holds the edge in the
Barcelona is still in the hunt although there are
concerns in the Spanish capital the Catalan side
would prefer Atletico as champion to its biggest rival.
Atletico plays at Barcelona in the final round.
Atletico leads the standings with 88 points,
Barcelona has 85, and Madrid 83.
Madrid midfielder Luka Modric has shaken off a
thigh injury that kept the Croatia midfielder from
Sunday s 2--2 draw against Valencia, to return to the
squad, but forward Gareth Bale and defender Dani
Carvajal are doubts against Valladolid after missing
Forward Cristiano Ronaldo did not complete the
training session either as he has recently returned
from a left leg injury. Iker Casillas is also expected
to make his first league start since January 2013 as
Ancelotti looks to give the Spain goalkeeper more
playing time. (AP)
on Madrid to
win last 3 games
identify the clubs until the sanctions are confirmed.
PSG and Manchester City face most scrutiny due
to sponsorship deals with their owners from Qatar
and Abu Dhabi, respectively.
The French champion back-dated a deal with the
Qatar Tourism Authority worth 200 million euros
($279 million) annually, which UEFA is expected to
rule as excessive given the limited global appeal of
the French league compared to England and Spain.
Without the sponsorship deal---described last
month by UEFA President Michel Platini as "inno-
vative"---PSG had little chance of approaching UEFA s
set target of 45 million euros ($62.6 million) losses
on core football-related business in the past two
UEFA allows wealthy club owners to make a one-
off payment covering that loss, and to pay off the
fine which can reportedly be spread over three sea-
While the likely UEFA sanctions would not prevent
Ibrahimovic playing in the Champions League, they
could speed the departure of expensive team-mates
like Edinson Cavani. The Uruguay forward was bought
from Napoli last year and appears a luxury item
within the financial fair play regime.
The first round of UEFA sanctions are being nego-
tiated between clubs and an investigation panel led
by Jean-Luc Dehaene, a former prime minister of
Still, the sanctions expected to be announced Friday
might not be the final word.
The nine clubs can appeal to a separate UEFA judg-
ing panel which itself has the right to examine the
verdicts in more detail.
Rival clubs in national leagues can also appeal to
UEFA, arguing they have been denied a place in the
Champions League by an opponent helped by spend-
ing against the rules. (AP)
Blanc: UEFA sanctions curb Champs League options
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