Uefa may review rule that hit Spurs’ Champions League bid
BUDAPEST, May 24 — The Champions League rule that denied Tottenham Hotspur a place in next season’s competition because Chelsea won Saturday’s final could be reviewed by Uefa’s executive committee, president Michel Platini said yesterday.
Chelsea automatically qualified for next season as European champions despite only finishing sixth in the Premier League.
If they had lost on Saturday they would have only qualified for the Europa League, but their victory over Bayern Munich means that they, rather than Spurs who finished fourth in the Premier League, will compete in the Champions League.
Speaking in Budapest ahead of this week’s Fifa Congress, Platini said he was aware the rule was unpopular because of the potentially huge Champions League revenue a club can lose because of another’s success.
But he told reporters: “Everything can be discussed - the rules, yellow cards, but not during the competition. Perhaps in the next executive committee we can speak about it”.
On Tuesday, Fifa president Sepp Blatter questioned whether Chelsea should be allowed to enter next season’s Champions League because he said all confederations should follow Fifa’s rules on competition winners.
Blatter told Reuters: “We had this rule in Fifa that the winner of the World Cup was automatically qualified and we abandoned it, so the winner of a competition should not be automatically qualified.
“This is the Fifa rule and if we have the same rule all around the world then this should be applicable to Uefa as well.”
Platini rejected suggestions that Tottenham were being unfairly punished and that by denying them a place in the competition it made a mockery of their season.
“No, they have not been punished, they know the rules, they should have been third and not fourth, they could have finished first. Did they fight for first place?” — Reuters