Man City escape transfer ban for Garre case

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The Argentine club had their initial complaint rejected, but took their case to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The Etihad outfit was taken to Federation Internationale de Football Association and CIS by Argentine club Velez Sarsfield but the world governing body had ruled that the signing of Benjamin Garre, then 16, by Manchester City was legal.

Garre was 16 at the time but Argentine officials accused City of tapping him up when he was still 15, pointing to Federation Internationale de Football Association rules that say no player can leave their home country until they are 18, unless the player's parents move countries for "non-footballing reasons".

City thought they were in the right because Garre holds an Italian passport and the age threshold for European Union citizens is 16.

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However Velez officials claimed City broke rules because Garre played for a club in Argentina, thus taking the case to the CAS.

Argentine club Velez Sarsfield claimed City acted unethically by approaching Garre when he was still 15, then signing the winger only days after his 16th birthday. And even though City haven't been slapped with a transfer ban that might have forced Pep Guardiola to dip into his youth team, Garre will be hoping his chance comes.

City were also given reason to believe that Garre's transfer was fully above board because it was apparently ratified by Federation Internationale de Football Association, who rejected Velez's complaint. Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid were handed bans in recent years but City has been vindicated of the case.

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Federation Internationale de Football Association ruled the deal for Garre was above board and hadn't broken the rules, despite allegations from Velez that he was approached before turning 16.

That said, they would have the right to a technical appeal that could further delay the process and allow Guardiola to stockpile players this summer. A verdict due last September was delayed but now the CAS are prepared to finally deliver their verdict in the next week.

The ban was for two years, although the second year, set to begin on June 30, 2018, will be suspended for three years.

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