Platini denies anti-English bias


Uefa president Michael Platini insists he would have been "happy" to see a second successive all-English Champions League final.

Conspiracy theories abounded after referee Tom Henning Ovrebo turned down several strong penalty claims from Chelsea in their last-gasp semi-final aggregate defeat to Barcelona in midweek.

With Manchester United already through to the final in Rome, it was suggested that European football's governing body, and in particular their controversial figurehead, would be loathe to see two Premier League clubs contest the showpiece once again.

But Platini, a former European champion with Juventus, insists England's current dominance of the competition is no more problematic than that enjoyed by Spain and Italy at times over the last decade.

"If there had been two English clubs in the final I would have been happy because I respect the result of the competition," he told the Mail on Sunday.

"It's not about the nationality of the team. I will always respect the result. If there were two English clubs I would be as happy as if there were two German clubs.

"The balance in European football always changes. I always say, you had two Italian clubs in the final in Manchester six years ago and two Spanish clubs in 2000. That's not bad."