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Last Updated: Saturday, 11 June, 2005, 09:17 GMT 10:17 UK
Uefa defends Liverpool decision
Uefa president Lennart Johansson
Uefa president Lennart Johansson has defended his organisation's decision to change its rules to allow Liverpool a Champions League place.

On Friday Uefa's executive committee handed Liverpool a place in the first qualifying round for next season.

Johansson told BBC Radio Five Live: "We are like most people, we make mistakes.

"When we formulated the regulations we didn't think of the possibility of a side outside the top four in the big nations winning the Champions League."

Liverpool beat AC Milan in last season's final but, because they finished out of the Premiership's top four, Rafael Benitez's side had not guaranteed entry in 2005-2006.

Now after Uefa's executive committee changed its rules on Friday - in future the holders will gain automatic entry - Liverpool will have the opportunity to defend their title.

Johansson also insisted Uefa had not been embarrassed by its u-turn.

He said: "No, not at all. We have tried to correct it for the future and took a decision which may be criticised but has been welcomed in most quarters.

"If you make an error you try not to repeat it in the future - you try to correct it and take a decision which will be accepted by the absolute majority."

"We thought in a situation like this we should not make too many changes. We had to find a possibility to let them in without hurting somebody else."

Interview: Uefa president Lennart Johansson

Interview: Uefa chief exec Lars-Christer Olsson

Interview: Liverpool midfielder Dietmar Hamann


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