Manchester City, Juventus: Teams That Were Banned From Play

ET Bureau|
Spoil Sport
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Spoil Sport

Sports teams can fall afoul of the law for a variety of reasons. Here are a few teams that were temporarily barred for not upholding the spirit of the game.

Agencies
​Legia Warsaw
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​Legia Warsaw

Shark fins are common sight in landlocked Warsaw. Every week, a bunch of men clad in white smocks and conical hats — the uniform of the Klu Klux Klan — congregate inside the Marshal Józef Pilsudski Stadium, the home of the city’s largest football club, Legia Warsaw.

In 2016, the club was punished for the second time that season for crowd trouble during their match against Real Madrid. Radical fans lit flares and unfurled racist banners against the influx of immigrants from Syria. Legia, who were making their first Champions League appearance in 21 years, was forced to play their remaining fixtures behind closed doors.

Getty Images
​Juventus
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​Juventus

In the summer of 2006, Italy won the World Cup, even as the country’s top teams were embroiled in a match-fixing scandal back home. Juventus, Fiorentina and Lazio were relegated to the second division, while AC Milan was docked points. Investigators found that referees were pressured to favour some teams.

Leaked emails and calls revealed that Juve general manager Luciano Moggi had detained referee Gianluca Paparesta and his two assistants in a changing room after his club’s 2-1 loss at Reggina in November 2004. The pressure tactics employed by the big teams were apparently done with the complicity of political figures.

AFP
​Zimbabwe Cricket Team
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​Zimbabwe Cricket Team

Cricket, like other aspects of life in Zimbabwe, was upended after Robert Mugabe seized power in 1980. He stayed in power till his death in 2017, aged 95.

“Cricket civilises people and creates good gentlemen. I want everyone to play cricket in Zimbabwe; I want ours to be a nation of gentlemen,” he famously said. But his alleged crimes and direct involvement in running the game led to the country being banned in 2004.

At one point, after a snub from England, the dictator responded in characteristic fashion, saying, “Britain is a very cold, uninhabitable country with small houses.”

Getty Images
​Manchester City
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​Manchester City

The first billion-dollar team in football history — roughly the GDP of Seychelles — was recently slapped with a 30 million pounds fine and banned from competing in the Champions League for two seasons over Financial Fair Play (FF P) breaches. European football’s governing body found that City falsified records pertaining to sponsorship revenue to inflate profits. FFP rules mandate that clubs can spend money commensurate with their income to acquire new players.

Leaked emails accessed by the German magazine Der Spiegel found that the club’s owner, Sheikh Mansour, allegedly funded the lion’s share of a 67.5 million pounds deal with Etihad to sponsor the club’s stadium and kits, with only 8 million pounds coming directly from the airline.

AFP

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