Brendan Rodgers: 'Liverpool prepared to reject Europa League'

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on the touchline during his sides match with Manchester City on February 3, 2013
© AP Photos
Brendan Rodgers says that Liverpool could snub the Europa League next season.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that that club could turn down the chance to play in the Europa League next season should they qualify through the Fair Play league.

The Reds are currently second to Arsenal in the table, with Europe-bound Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United occupying third and fourth respectively, meaning that the Merseysiders could be awarded a place in next year's qualifying rounds of the competition.

However, with Liverpool due to partake in pre-season tours of Asia and Australia in July, Rodgers admits that there is a chance that his side could reject the opportunity to play in the Europa League.

"I've never thought of it," Rodgers told ESPN. "Maybe we should get a couple of sendings-off or bookings. There's a pride thing and we want to get into it with our performance level and it's highly unlikely we'd get that route [anyway].

"It's the top three countries and we're fourth. It's not something I would be keen on. I want to get there through the right means. If we have to have a year where we are not in it, it's going to give us an opportunity to push on.

"It was a long journey in the Europa League this year. 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 means the competition 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 as a club are better suited to realigning our focus to domestic cups and the league."

Liverpool were made to qualify for this season's Europa League with playoff clashes against Belarusian side FC Gomel and Hearts of the SPL.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers on the touchline during his sides match with Manchester City on February 3, 2013
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