Petrov's plea to UEFA officials
Stiliyan Petrov has urged UEFA to make a decision sooner rather than later on whether Portsmouth will be allowed to play in the Europa League. Aston Villa have more than a passing interest in crisis club Pompey's situation as it could have a bearing on whether Villa take part in the competition next season. Pompey, who entertain Martin O'Neill's side on Sunday, would normally be able to participate even if they lose the FA Cup final to double-chasing Chelsea. But their financial situation could count against them - and then an extra Europa League spot could be available via the Premier League. That could let in Villa, who are currently lying seventh and looking to qualify for Europe for a third successive season. Petrov said: "We hope that justice will be right in the end and we will see what is going to happen. "I think if would be wrong for things to drag on until the end of season with teams not knowing if in they are in Europe or not. "I think that would be wrong. Teams are playing, teams are battling and other teams are trying to prepare for next season. "They (UEFA) need to clear the situation up earlier than they said (in May)." Villa are still harbouring slim hopes of qualifying for the Champions League, although Wednesday's 2-2 draw with Everton has left them facing an uphill task. But Petrov acknowledges Villa will have to collect 15 points from their remaining five games and hope Manchester City and Tottenham slip up during the run-in. "Fourth place is now getting harder to achieve but we will battle to the end," he said. "Mathematically we've still got a chance but we need other teams to make mistakes and we need to win every single game. "If we win all five it may still not enough because the other teams have got an advantage at the moment - but we will keep battling on." Petrov also believes Villa deserve some tangible reward for their efforts this season. He said: "I said before the (Carling Cup) final that we needed to make sure we don't end up with nothing and it is important we qualify for Europe for a third year in a row. "We are working really hard but sometimes it is not going our way. "We have been losing points but we have been performing well. We have been having chances but we couldn't manage to see the games through which is really frustrating. "It seems like we don't lose the games but we don't have that final bit to win the games which frustrates us all."
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