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Last Updated: Tuesday, 10 May, 2005, 08:10 GMT 09:10 UK
FA supports Liverpool's Euro case
Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez
The Football Association is fighting to have an additional place in next season's Champions League - should Liverpool win the trophy in Istanbul.

Current FA policy states that only the top four in the Premiership qualify, a situation that means the Reds miss out.

But FA communications director Adrian Bevington said: "We have been very proactive on this matter.

"We have already submitted a written request to have an additional place, should they win the Champions League."

Arsenal's weekend victory over Liverpool confirmed that Everton would finish in the fourth and final Champions League qualification spot in the Premiership.

However, Bevington revealed that senior figures at the FA have had talks with Uefa president Lennart Johansson and Uefa chief executive Lars-Christer Olsson on the issue within the last three weeks.

And he has been buoyed by Johansson's statement that "the champions must always be given the opportunity to defend the title".

Bevington added: "If Mr Johansson has said we should put something in writing to the Uefa executive committee then we are happy to send another letter once again requesting an additional place for Liverpool, should they win the Champions League."

Johansson urged the FA to write to Uefa but said that their request would be dealt with after the final against AC Milan on 25 May.

"If the English FA would like to do so, they should make a proposal that would mean extending the number of teams from England in the Champions League next time from four to five," confirmed Johansson.

"They cannot just explain their feelings, they should sit down and write a letter to the Uefa executive committee with a request."

It is believed that pressure has been brought on Uefa from sponsors and television companies not to allow a situation in which a club as big worldwide as Liverpool are excluded next season.


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