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Liverpool to focus on domestic success, not Europa League via Fair Play

Liverpool will forego the chance to qualify for the Europa League next season via FIFA's Fair Play ruling.

The Reds have the second-best disciplinary record in the Premier League, behind Arsenal who will already be a part of some sort of European competition, meaning they can take the back door into the second tier league.

However, the Anfield club have committed to a preseason tour of Australia and Asia and will not look to be included in the Europa League as they would rather focus on their bid for domestic success.

"We want to get into it with our performance level and it's highly unlikely we'd get that route," said manager Brendan Rodgers.

"If we have a year where we are not in it, it's going to give us an opportunity to push on.

"There's also a pride thing. You want to get in it by performing and through (your league) positions."

Rodgers added of the likelihood of beginning at the first round of qualification this summer: "It was a long journey this year and - don't get me wrong - we enjoyed it and we were disappointed when we came out of it, but I think down the Fair Play route it (the qualifying rounds) starts even earlier.

"I'd prefer to be in it by qualifying through the league or winning a trophy. If it's not that way then we are better suited to re-aligning our focus to domestic cups and the league."

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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