Uefa may reconsider Champions League rule that saw Chelsea qualify instead of Tottenham

 

UEFA are prepared to review the controversial rule that saw Tottenham miss out on the Champions League in favour of Chelsea, the European governing body's president Michel Platini said today.

Spurs boss Harry Redknapp branded the rule "unfair" after Tottenham finished fourth in the Premier League but saw their place in the Champions League taken by Chelsea as reigning European champions.

Platini said no rule change to the competition could be brought in for at least three years but that UEFA would be prepared to review the regulation.

Speaking in Budapest before the FIFA Congress, Platini told the Press Association: "We can always change the rules. We can always discuss the rules, but not during the competition.

"We have decided not to change the rules or regulations of the competition for three years. So in three years we can change, that means we will come back if you wish.

"Everything can be discussed, the rules, yellow cards, but not during the competition. Perhaps in the next executive committee we can speak about it. I can put that, but they may say no."

Redknapp claimed that UEFA should allow five clubs from one country into the tournament in the special circumstance of a club winning the Champions League but finishing outside of the top four in their domestic league, as happened with Chelsea. UEFA's current rule was introduced in 2005 when five English teams were allowed in to the Champions League after Liverpool won the tournament but finished fifth in the Premier League.

Platini said that he personally believed there should be a limit of four per country.

He added: "I think so, but it is the matter of the executive committee, a matter for discussion. If you put more in one part you have to take out more from another part and because we always play with 32 teams, with the winner is 31, so we have to decide.

"Perhaps it could be for discussion in the future about the participation of more than four but for the moment it is not possible because the regulations are for four."

He rejected suggestions that Spurs were being unfairly punished.

"No, they have not been punished, They know the rules, they should have been third and not fourth," said Platini.

Platini also spoke of his personal pleasure at former club Juventus becoming Italian champions again only six years after being relegated following a match-fixing scandal.

"It was a great team, they had problems, they paid - they went to the second division, they come back and now they are champions," he said.

"Welcome back - it's good for Italian football as they are the most popular team in Italy. Welcome back.

"On the outside I try to be neutral. In my heart you never know."

He also joked that if Juventus had been in Tottenham's position his view might have been different, saying: "If Juventus was the fourth team of Italy perhaps I will change the rule!"

PA

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