November 5, 2018 / 7:03 PM / 12 days ago

PSG appeal against decision to re-open investigation into its finances

ZURICH (Reuters) - Paris St Germain have appealed to sport’s highest tribunal after European football’s governing body re-opened an investigation into whether the French club had broken rules designed to prevent over-spending.

Soccer Football - Ligue 1 - Paris St Germain vs Lille - Parc des Princes, Paris, France - November 2, 2018 Paris St Germain's Neymar celebrates scoring their second goal REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

The Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) said in statement on Monday that it had registered an appeal by the French club against the decision made by UEFA in September.

“At the parties’ request, the procedure will be conducted on a confidential basis with the exception of the final

award (decision) which will be published,” said CAS in a statement.

European football body UEFA opened its original investigation in September 2017 after PSG, owned by Qatar Sports Investments, bought Brazil forward Neymar from Barcelona for 222 million euros (£194.3 million), more than double the previous highest price paid for a player.

PSG also signed teenager Kylian Mbappe, initially on loan from Monaco before buying him outright in July, in a deal widely reported to be worth 180 million euros.

UEFA wanted to know whether PSG had broken its Financial Fair Play rule under which clubs must broadly limit their spending to their generated revenues. PSG have denied all along that any rules were broken.

The rules were introduced to try and stop wealthy owners ‘buying’ success and distorting the market by investing large amounts of money into their clubs.

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Board (CFCB) closed the investigation in June, saying the club had managed to comply with the rules for the financial years ending in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

But in the following month, the head of the CFCB asked for the decision to be reviewed and, in September, it re-opened the investigation.

Clubs can ultimately be kicked out of European competition for flouting the rules although until now UEFA has tried to negotiate settlements with offenders.

CAS has previously overturned a UEFA decision to bar Italian club AC Milan from this season’s Europa League.

Writing by Brian Homewood, editing by Pritha Sarkar

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