FA closes Europa door on Pompey

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The Independent Football

The Premier League and Football Association insist Portsmouth will fail in any attempt to take their fight to play in next season's Europa League to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS).

Under normal circumstances Portsmouth would have qualified for Europe after reaching the FA Cup final but as the club are in administration they have been told that the FA and Premier League will not consider a late application for a Uefa club licence. Pompey administrator Andrew Andronikou has said he will push ahead with an application anyway – and if necessary take the case to the CAS in Lausanne.

A joint statement by the FA and Premier League said Portsmouth have "manifestly" failed to achieve the criteria necessary for a Uefa club licence following their financial crisis – particularly in relation to money owed to the taxman.

The statement said: "In order for a club to obtain a Uefa club licence for the 2010-11 season they need to show that as of December 2009 they had no outstanding money owed to the tax authorities or football clubs. This is manifestly not the case for Portsmouth FC."

The statement also points out that Portsmouth did not meet the strict 1 March deadline for applications for a Uefa club licence for the 2010-11 season and the club have still not attempted to put in a formal application for a licence.

Andronikou claimed that Portsmouth should be allowed to submit a late application due to the "exceptional circumstances". However, the statement said: "'Exceptional circumstances' only apply to clubs who qualify for European competition while in the Football League.

"The Premier League and the FA are both fully committed to upholding the governance criteria set out in the Uefa Licence for all clubs looking to compete in European competition."

Andronikou reacted angrily after being told by the FA and Premier League last week that a late application would not be considered. He said then: "I think it's a shambles. There are rules and regulations but there is also football protocol and the way they have approached this means they must have made a significant U-turn."

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