Friday, May 9, 2008

England Awarded Extra Place in the UEFA Cup

UEFA announced their continental fair play rankings today and -- honestly, this amazes me with some of the tackles we see on a weekly basis -- England has come out on top. As a result, an extra UEFA Cup spot will be granted to the highest-ranked team on the Premier League's own fair play table that hasn't already automatically qualified for Europe next season.

Right now, that team is Manchester City, who are fifth in the current table behind Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United, and Liverpool, all of which have already booked their place in Europe next year.

Everton and Fulham are still in with a shout for the extra UEFA Cup place as well, but the Toffees likely won't need it because a point gained on Sunday against Newcastle would seal a berth in Europe's second-tier club competition through their league position. Fulham, remember, will be doing everything they can to try and beat Portsmouth on Sunday in hopes of retaining their Premiership status, and if it takes one or two red cards and five or six yellows in the process, so be it.

England's fair play rankings won't be finalized until after Sunday's games, obviously, so we won't know for sure who the extra English representative in the 2008-2009 UEFA Cup will be until then.

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