City on course for UEFA spot

Manchester City are in pole position to claim a place in next year's UEFA Cup after the Football Association was awarded an extra place in next season's competition.

European football's governing body today revealed that English teams had topped their Fair Play competition, meaning an extra place in the first qualifying round of the 2008-09 UEFA Cup.



The FA has confirmed the berth will be awarded to the highest-ranked side in the Premier League fair play table that has not qualified for Europe by other means.



City currently stand fifth in the fair play table, behind Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United and Liverpool - who are all already guaranteed a place in continental competition.



That means Sven-Goran Eriksson's team, with only a single league game remaining, stand on the brink of an unexpected European spot.



In the 162 European matches featuring English clubs that were watched by UEFA delegates between May 1 last year and April 30, 2008, Premier League sides achieved a Fair Play coefficient of 8.143.

The statistic is determined based on criteria such as positive play, respect of the opponent, respect of the referee, behaviour of the crowd and of the team officials, plus cautions and dismissals.



The seven other associations who achieved a coefficient above eight - Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany, Spain and France - will be entered into a draw for a further spot which will take place at the City of Manchester Stadium on May 13.

The news that City could be playing in European competition next season leaves Eriksson in an even stronger position amid constant speculation that he is to be forced out of Eastlands this summer.

The Manchester club face a final match at Middlesbrough on Sunday and with the game effectively meaningless for both sides, they appear well placed to maintain or better their position in the domestic fair play league.



Intriguingly, Everton are just a place behind City in sixth, and need to make up only a 0.5-point margin.



With up to 10 points per match awarded purely for yellow and red cards, and four other factors also coming into play - positive play, respect towards the opponent, respect towards the referee and behaviour of officials - that could clearly be achieved during the final round of matches.



Unlike City, however, the Merseyside club face a crucial game this weekend as they attempt to claim the point from Newcastle that would guarantee UEFA Cup football via a fifth-place finish in the Premier League.



Should Everton lose and be overtaken by Aston Villa, who need to win at West Ham to take fifth, the fair play league now offers the hope of salvation.



News
Lois Pryce... Life Without a Postcode. Lois lives on a boat with her husband.. Registering to vote in the election has prooved to be very difficult without a fixed residential post code. (David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Steven Fletcher scores the second goal for Scotland
cricketBut they have to bounce back to beat Gibraltar in Euro 2016 qualifier
News
news
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing