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Keine Teilnahme am Supercup und der Clubwm ?

1 Beitrag in diesem Thema

LIVERPOOL will consider withdrawing from next season's European Super Cup and World Club Championship after it was confirmed yesterday that their defence of the European Cup must begin in the first qualifying round in mid-July.

Rick Parry, the chief executive, gave a cautious welcome to the ruling by Uefas executive committee, which declared that the European champions would be allowed to take part despite missing out on automatic qualification by finishing outside the top four of the Barclays Premiership. Privately, however, the club are disappointed that they must come through three qualifying rounds in order to reach the group stage.

The decision also means that Liverpool will almost certainly have to scrap plans for a lucrative two-match tour of Japan, which clashes with the first leg of the second qualifying round in late July.

Rafael Benítez, the manager, is more concerned about some of his players facing almost 12 months of competitive football, from the first qualifying round on July 12 or 13 to the World Cup finals next summer, and it is for that reason that the club will consider withdrawing from the various spin-off tournaments that they are due to enter as European Cup holders. Pulling out of the Super Cup against CSKA Moscow, the Uefa Cup winners, in Monaco on August 26 may be perceived by some as a lack of gratitude to European football's governing body, but such an act would not be unprecedented. The competition did not take place in 1974, 1981 or 1985.

Nor does Fifa's World Club Championship - usually a one-off match against the South American champions but next season a six-team tournament in Japan in mid- December - hold great prestige. The European champions refused to take part on seven occasions in the 1970s. The greatest dilemma for Liverpool may concern their large fan-base in Japan, whom they would not wish to snub twice in five months, with Parry hinting last night that the July tour was likely to be sacrificed.

However, Dietmar Hamann, the Liverpool midfield player, said that "we start pre-season training on June 27 and that should be enough time to get into physical shape to win the first round". It should, given that the prospective opponents in the first qualifying round draw on June 24 include the likes of Glentoran and Total Network Solutions, but it is the potential disruption to the rest of their campaign that is causing concern.

Theoretically, a player such as Steven Gerrard could be required to play more than 90 matches next season, taking into account a 38-match Premiership campaign as well as commitments to the FA Cup, Carling Cup, European Super Cup, World Club Championship, up to 19 matches in the Champions League and assuming that England qualify for the World Cup finals and progress to the later stages.

Although Liverpool will be seeded in each of the qualifying rounds - and, as holders, would be top seeds in the group stage if they reach that far - the unseeded teams in the third qualifying round, where they will be joined by Manchester United, include FC Basle, Real Betis and, intriguingly, Everton, whom Liverpool could face as they have not been given "country protection" by Uefa.

The place reserved by Uefa in the group stage for the holders will now go to Fenerbahçe, the Turkish champions. Two clubs - Wisla Krakow, the Polish champions, and the champions of Romania, who will be decided today - also benefit by entering the qualifying competition one round later.

Artikel der Times, also nicht ofiziell !

bearbeitet von ianrush

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