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FA shouldn't be faced with Euro decision

Should Liverpool win the Champions League but finish outside the top four in the Premiership, the FA will be faced with a a decision on whether to allow the the Reds the chance to defend their title next season.

UEFA's ruling states that in the above situation, the national FA will decide whether to allow the title holders into the competition at the expense of the side finishing fourth.

But why can't UEFA stand up and be big enough to make that decision? Or better still, why is there no ruling which states one way or another whether the holders can defend their title?

The issue which could become a reality this season, as it did in 2000 when Real Madrid became European Champions but finished fifth in La Liga, only applies to countries who are given four places in the Champions League.

If a club won the Champions League but failed to qualify for the competition again through their national league, in an association which was given less than four places, UEFA's solution would be to grant an extra place to allow that club the chance to defend the trophy.

Presumably UEFA could just as easily abandon their stubborn stance of allowing a maximum of four clubs from any one nation and grant England an extra place, if the FA confirm the rumours that they'll award the fourth Champions League place to the side who finished fourth in the Premiership, even if Liverpool finish lower and go on to win this season's Champions League competition.

UEFA could then spend the summer re-writing the 2005-6 competition regulations to make it clear from the start of the season what should happen if a similar situation arises in future seasons.


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