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Liverpool face being dragged into Man City UEFA appeal over hacking claims

Liverpool could be dragged into Manchester City's appeal to overturn their two season Champions League ban.

The Mirror says City will “leave nothing off the table" when they attempt to beat the two-year suspension and £25million fine levied against them by UEFA over FFP violations.

City will take a powerful legal team to the Court of Arbitration for Sport – and they will be armed with evidence that threatens to blow the lid off the murky work of football politics.

A central tenet of City's argument will be that UEFA's decision to punish them is based on an illegally-obtained raft of emails written by senior club officials that were taken out of context to deliver a guilty verdict.

The club's servers were accessed by student Rui Pinto in 2015. Pinto is currently being held in prison in Portugal awaiting trial after being charged with 90 counts of hacking, sabotage and fraud.

Details of how Pinto was able to break into City's systems - and his motivations for doing so - are likely to lead to questions on how City ramped up computer security after discovering in 2013 that their scouting database had been hacked.

A forensic investigation by an independent team of experts pointed the finger at some former City scouts who had left the club to join Liverpool.

A complaint to Anfield led to Liverpool agreeing to pay a £1million compensation package and both clubs signing a confidentiality agreement.

The FA, after pressure from the media earlier this season, reopened the case but decided not to take matters further due to the “age of the alleged concerns" and the fact that the clubs had agreed a financial settlement.

But City's appeal could force the FA to take a fresh look at the incident.

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Paul Vegas

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