Grant pleads for European reward

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Football News

Portsmouth manager Avram Grant has pleaded with the authorities to allow the FA Cup finalists to play in the Europa League next season.

Grant is distraught the move has been blocked because the club did not apply for a UEFA licence as they are in administration. He cites Liverpool as an example of how the rules were changed to allow them to play in the Champions League in 2005 after they won the trophy.

Following the 2-2 draw against Bolton, Grant said: "We are suffering because of the mistakes of others. We have been punished with nine points deducted and now regarding Europe. I cannot accept this. It is not fair play. I hope nobody says to me rules are rules. Liverpool finished fifth and got in the Champions League."

He added: "According to the rules they should be not have been in the Champions League. But the rules were changed especially for them and they played.

"It's logical. This is a Cinderella story. This is what English football is about, not just about the rich.

"This club deserves to be in Europe next year. It is easier to come from 2-0 down than to fight to decision that is not logical.

"I think these players and these fans they are keeping the English tradition of fighting and never giving up. Someone in the FA and Premier League need to say...we need to give them a reward."

Bolton looked set for the victory that would have definitely secured their top flight status when Ivan Klasnic and Kevin Davies scored before half time.

Instead they had to settle for a point with on-loan striker Aruna Dindane scoring a brace for Portsmouth, who have already been banished to the second tier. That looks enough to secure their status with Hull losing and Burnley having an inferior goal difference.

But Trotters boss Owen Coyle said: "We are not safe. We are nine points ahead and people can tell me about goal difference and everything else. But my focus was on winning,"

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

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Europa League
Ivan Klasnic
European News
Bolton Wanderers
Premier League
UEFA Champions League
Hull City
Aruna Dindane
FA Cup
Kevin Davies

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