Platini on defensive over Spurs

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Michel Platini has dismissed claims from Harry Redknapp that the rules over Champions League qualification are ‘unfair’.

Tottenham Hotspur missed out on a place in Europe’s premier club competition despite finishing fourth in the English top flight, with Chelsea taking the last qualification spot thanks to victory over Bayern Munich in the competition’s final last weekend.

A rule change in 2006 – implemented after Liverpool won the competition but finished fifth in the Premier League – means that a maximum of four teams from any one country can be involved.

That means Spurs will miss out in the 2012/13 campaign, but UEFA president Platini defended the rules surrounding the European Cup.

"No, they (Tottenham) have not been punished. They know the rules; they should have been third and not fourth," the Frenchman told a FIFA congress in Budapest, according to FourFourTwo Australia.

"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.

"It is the matter of the executive committee, a matter for discussion."

Potential for discussion will be scant consolation for the White Hart Lane outfit, who tasted the top competition two years ago but were forced to participate in the Europa League last term.

Platini went on to insist that it’s past the deadline to influence next season’s competition, and that the Executive Committee might vote against the idea of allowing five teams into the event anyway.

"We can always change the rules. We can always discuss the rules, but not during the competition," he added.

"We have decided not to change the rules or regulations of the competition for three years.

"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."

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Tottenham Hotspur
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