By Emre Asikci
ISTANBUL (AA) - Lifting Manchester City's ban from European competitions did not harm UEFA's zero-tolerance principle, but methods of the European football's governing body in the Financial Fair Play (FFP) investigation process can be criticized, Emin Ozkurt, the only Turkish arbitrator of the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), told Anadolu Agency.
"There is no issue that breaks the zero-tolerance principle of UEFA," Ozkurt said, stressing that it is not right to punish anyone for a subject that has not been proven under the law.
"Even if it exists, it is not possible to legally penalize violations that have expired, in accordance with universal law principles," he added.
- Fair-play unfortunately losing value day by day
Football has become industrialized as a result of the unpredictable growth of the economic volume of football with the great development experienced day by day, Ozkurt said.
"Based on this, a great rivalry and conflict have arisen between the stakeholders. As a result of this competition, the fair-play spirit of the game, unfortunately, loses its importance," he added.
Ozkurt noted that CAS is still the most respected institution and that the criticisms made are not justified.
"These criticisms are not justified. The CAS has faced accusations many times since its establishment, but today, it is still the most respected and top sports judiciary in the international legal system, this is no coincidence," Ozkurt said.
"CAS has made and is making very respectable decisions," he added.
Ozkurt noted that one of the aims of sports law is to provide legal and fair competition in football, which has been industrialized and become a huge economic value.
"For this reason, sports law has turned into a very dynamic and self-renewing structure, which positively affects, as a driving force, the continuous development and progress of sports law rather than causing trouble, and also prevents potential legal problems," he added.
- Man City case overturned
In February, Manchester City was banned from European competitions for the next two seasons due to alleged breaches of UEFA's club financial fair play regulations.
But UEFA on July 13 announced that CAS lifted the ban on Man City’s participation in UEFA competitions and that it reduced a previously imposed fine from €30 million ($35 million) to €10 million ($11.6 million).
The CAS panel found that there was insufficient conclusive evidence to uphold all conclusions of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body in this specific case and that many of the alleged breaches were time-barred due to the five-year time period foreseen in the UEFA regulations, stressed the European football's governing body.
Emin Ozkurt is the only arbitrator from Turkey at the Court of Arbitration for Sport, Qatar Sports Arbitration Tribunal, and the EuroLeague Basketball Dispute Resolution Chamber.