Thursday, April 17, 2008

Cardiff City Granted European "Approval"...

...if the Bluebirds win the FA Cup final on May 17. The FA's professional game board has given their go-ahead, and now the main FA board and UEFA, which had already discussed giving Cardiff a wild card berth into the UEFA Cup, will make the final decision next week.

Remember, all of this talk will go for naught if Cardiff doesn't beat Portsmouth at Wembley, and let's make no mistake about it, the Premier League side is the clear favorite.

We've seen crazier things happen (Barnsley, cough cough) though, and I've been pushing for Cardiff to get into Europe's second-tier club competition ever since the possibility became realistic. There was debate about whether or not they'd be allowed to do so, as current FA rules don't permit Welsh teams to represent England in Europe, but that was such a red-tape issue that it was a disgrace to the game.

I don't think there's any question that if Cardiff does win the FA Cup final, they'll have played their way into the UEFA Cup and fully deserve to be there. As I said in my last post about this subject, there are other cases of teams based outside of the geographic boundaries of whatever domestic league they play in while still representing that other country in Europe. In the case of FC Vaduz, a team that plays in the Swiss Challenge League, they represent Liechtenstein in Europe as they're from that country and win their league cup almost every year.

If there's precedent, which there is, you can't legitimately argue that it shouldn't be allowed to happen in this specific instance.

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