FA dash Pompey European hopes

LONDON - Relegated Portsmouth's hopes of competing in next season's Europa League after reaching the FA Cup final were dashed on Thursday when they were ruled out because they had not applied in time.

The FA and Premier League said in a joint statement that they had told the club's administrators they would "not consider any late application for granting of a UEFA Club Licence for the 2010-11 season."

Despite being 119 million pounds in debt and in administration, Portsmouth would have qualified for the Europa League by reaching the Cup final against Chelsea, who are sure to be in the Champions League.

However, the south coast club cannot take up the place without a UEFA licence and the FA had set a March 1 deadline for clubs to apply for one.

Portsmouth administrator Andrew Andronikou had said earlier this month that the licence had not been applied for but the club intended to do so.

The fifth to seventh placed clubs in the Premier League will now be eligible for the Europa League.

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