Guardiola insists Man City did not disrespect UEFA VAR summit

Europe’s elite competition begins again next week and will this year be aided by the use of video technology.

Pep Guardiola has rejected suggestions by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin that he disrespected European football’s governing body by not attending this week’s VAR summit. 

Video assistants will be used to help officiate on contentious decisions during the last-16 ties in the Champions League.

At a summit in Frankfurt on Monday, only head coaches from Juventus, Lyon, Paris Saint-Germain, Roma and Schalke – who face City in the opening knockout round – were present. 

The Premier League champions were among the teams to send another member of staff, however, with assistant coach Brian Kidd in attendance, but this was not deemed acceptable by Ceferin. 

“For me it’s not only a lack of respect for [UEFA’s chief refereeing officer] Roberto Rosetti’s team and the UEFA organisation, but the influence of coaches is huge and if they complain about being refereed they should at least come and see what the experts say about the use of VAR,” Ceferin said. 

“Now they do not have any excuses, especially the ones that did not even come.” 

Guardiola responded to Ceferin’s words on Friday, highlighting his need to prepare for City’s 2-0 midweek win at Everton that sent them back to the top of the Premier League table on goal difference.

“I respect a lot the UEFA president but I don’t agree with what he said, I am sorry,” he told a news conference ahead of Sunday’s home match against Chelsea.

“Brian Kidd was there. He travelled, he was in the meeting and I have on my table the report about the VAR.

“The is problem is on Wednesday we had a game and it’s more important for me to be with my players. On Monday we had a training session and Tuesday we had a training session.

“I would have travelled. I had the tickets. But the Premier League decided we had to play the game against Everton in between Arsenal and Chelsea, so I could not travel.

“Someone went there and we were involved. I’m not talking about Mr Ceferin saying, in that case, that Manchester City was not in that position.”

The Champions League begins again on Tuesday when Manchester United take on PSG at Old Trafford and Roma host Porto. The last 16 stage of Europe’s top competition will last over the space of the next five weeks.

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