European Court rules against Barcelona fans over Messi deal

PSG's Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his side's fourth goal during the Champions League Group H soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Maccabi Haifa, at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, Oct. 25, 2022. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena)

LUXEMBOURG (AP) — The European Court on Wednesday ruled against a Barcelona fan group in France that demanded that the European Commission should investigate whether Paris Saint-Germain unfairly signed Lionel Messi and jeopardized Barcelona’s finances.

The court in Luxembourg decided that the European Commission does not have to accept the group as an interested party and is not obligated to open an investigation into its complaint of alleged unlawful state aid to PSG.

The demand was presented in October by a fan group in Lyon that argued their rights as Barcelona members were being violated by clubs who had an unfair advantage because of allegedly inefficient financial fair play rules in places such as France.

The group’s objective was similar to what the Spanish league has been trying to do to contain the free spending of state-owned clubs like PSG and United Arab Emirates-backed Manchester City. The league filed a complaint to UEFA against PSG for breaking financial fair play rules when it gave Kylian Mbappé a new deal that convinced him to reject a move to Real Madrid.

A similar case as the one presented by the fan group is being heard by a tribunal in France.


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