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Soccer

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Wenger has no sympathy for Manchester City

Former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he feels no sympathy for Manchester City following the club's two-year ban for breaching financial fair play rules.

The former Arsenal boss, who is credited with coining the phrase "financial doping", insists City's punishment - which also includes a STG25million ($A48 million) fine - is necessary to uphold the spirit of the game.

Speaking at the Laureus Sports Awards in Berlin, Wenger said: "The rules are what they are and you have to respect them.

"People who are caught trying to get around the rules in more or less legal ways have to be punished, if it is proven that this has been done on purpose.

"I think sport is basically to win by respecting the rules - we celebrate the best in every sport and we want to know that they respect the rules.

"If there is no respect for the rules it is not real sport. If you go into a competition it is a sign that you respect the rules."

Wenger's long reign at Arsenal coincided with City's emergence as a global superpower, and led to a procession of stars including Emmanuel Adebayor, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri swapping the Emirates Stadium for the Etihad.

But Wenger would not be drawn on the suggestion that City should be punished further by being stripped of the silverware they earned during the period in question.

He added: "I don't know the rule well enough to know what kind of punishment has to be made. But this is the sanction that is planned if the clubs don't respect the rule."

--End of article--

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