MANCHESTER                  -              English champions Manchester City have been banned from European competition for the next two seasons and fined 30 million euros ($32.53 million) by European soccer’s governing body UEFA after an investigation into alleged breaches of Financial Fair Play (FFP) rules. UEFA announced in a statement that City had committed “serious breaches” of the rules while the Premier League club swiftly said on their website that they will appeal the decision to the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). The ruling, if upheld, would mean Pep Guardiola’s side would not be able to compete in the 2020-21 Champions League should they again qualify for Europe’s top club competition. They would also be banned from European competition in the 2021-22 season. The top four teams in the Premier League qualify for the Champions League and City are currently second — should the ban stand then the fifth-placed team would take their spot. An absence from Europe would have a significant impact on the club’s revenue and their prestige. Liverpool earned 111 million euros from UEFA for winning last season’s competition. The Premier League said in March that it had opened its own investigation into City and FFP after UEFA began its probe. UEFA’s FFP rules are designed to prevent clubs receiving unlimited amounts of money through inflated sponsorship deals with organisations related to the owners.