Portuguese side Sporting are facing a three-season ban from European competition unless they can prove that they made outstanding payments by January 31, 2022. This would come as a real blow to the side who have been a constant fixture in Europe for the past eight seasons and are in the Round of 16 this year. Sporting aren’t the only club at risk as Spanish side Real Betis will be banned from upcoming seasons if they also can’t settle debts.
UEFA Could Ban Sporting for Three Seasons
What Caused This?
This move comes as UEFA is claiming down on Financial Fair Play rules. Sporting have overdue debts which led to the punishment being handed down initially. The club aimed to appeal this decision but a statement from UEFA outlined the following:
- “To reject the appeal lodged by Sporting Clube de Portugal.
- “To confirm the club’s exclusion from the next UEFA club competition (UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and UEFA Europa Conference League) for which it would otherwise qualify in the next three seasons (i.e. 2022/23, 2023/24 and 2024/25), unless the club is able to prove by January 31, 2022, that it has paid the amount which was due no later than January 15, 2022, under a settlement agreement made on November 26, 2021, with another football club.
- “To confirm the fine imposed of €250,000 on the club.”
This would be a huge blow to Sporting who have emerged as a major player in the Portuguese league in recent years. Last season, they became the first club other than Porto or Benfica to win the Primeira Liga since 2002. Continuing this will be difficult without the added revenue and drawing appeal of European competition when it comes to attracting players and keeping their current squad together.
A ban from Europe could see the side lose ground in their local league to other teams that can promise European Competition to attract players.