France requests extra European place | World Soccer

The French Football Federation asked UEFA to give France an extra berth in European club competitions should Monaco qualify for either the UEFA Cup or Champions League.

Federation president Claude Simonet and professional league president Frederic Thiriez made the request in a letter sent to UEFA president Lennart Johansson.

They argue that the principality’s favourable tax system gives them a clear advantage over other teams in Ligue 1, effectively reducing the chances their rivals to qualify for European competition.

“Monaco benefits from a social and tax status particularly profitable compared to the other teams competing in the French Ligue 1,” they wrote, estimating the club’s advantage as “from 14 to 25 million euros”.

“It appears that the best solution for all the forces involved would be that if Monaco qualified for the Champions League or the UEFA Cup France should get an extra berth.”

The problem was highlighted after the club secured a Champions League place after finishing runners-up in Ligue 1 behind Lyon last season and then signed Fernando Morientes from Real Madrid.

“They take a Champions League place away from other French clubs”, said Marseille president Christophe Bouchet.

“Clubs like Marseille, Lyon, Lens, Bordeaux, Nantes and Auxerre are penalised.”

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