Scotland awarded an extra place in 2009 Uefa Cup
Monday 16 June 2008
Scotland's clubs will receive an extra place in the Uefa Cup in 2009-10, the Scottish Premier League have announced. Scotland will have at least four teams in European competition next season, and Mixu Paatelainen's Hibernian would join Celtic, Rangers, Motherwell and Queen of the South if they qualify via the Intertoto Cup. There will be a guaranteed five the following season as the Intertoto Cup will be replaced with an additional qualifying round in the Uefa Cup.
The team that finishes fourth in the SPL are likely to take that extra place, but their participation could come at the expense of part of their summer holidays.
The SPL secretary Iain Blair said: "The Uefa Cup will start in June and participation is mandatory, whereas the Intertoto had been voluntary. If a team don't want to start their season in June or early July, they no longer have a choice." Scotland will retain its two Champions League slots and Blair said that the Scottish Cup winners will continue to enter the Uefa Cup in the round before the group stage. The SPL's third-placed team will begin their campaign one round earlier while the fourth-placed team will start in early July in the second qualifying round. Only Partick Thistle and Hibs, on two previous occasions, have entered the Intertoto Cup since its inception in 1995.
Meanwhile, the SPL are yet to hear from Uefa over their request that the Scottish Cup runners-up do not qualify in future. Queen of the South are the third First Division side in three years to represent Scotland in the Uefa Cup.
Elsewhere, Nigeria beat Equatorial Guinea 1-0 away in a World Cup African zone Group Four qualifier yesterday, with the Everton defender Joseph Yobo scoring his country's winning goal for the second weekend in succession.
The goal came after five minutes and ensured Nigeria kept up their 100 per cent record in their campaign. Nigeria will be sure of progressing to the second phase if they beat Equatorial Guinea in their next game at home in Abuja next Saturday.
Last week Yobo scored two minutes from the end of Nigeria's match in Sierra Leone, which the Super Eagles won 1-0.
Latest in Sport
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Best memes as Twitter reacts to imminent £16m transfer
Manchester United transfer news: Louis van Gaal joins Arsenal and Chelsea in the race for Sami Khedira
Sami Khedira to Arsenal? Arsene Wenger reveals Gunners are still in the market for defensive midfielder
Mario Balotelli to Liverpool: Risky business to think Balotelli can replace Luis Suarez
Malky Mackay texts: Harry Redknapp defends former Cardiff City manger - 'he hasn't raped anyone and he is not a paedophile'
- 1 Jeremy Clarkson 'sees no problem' with his racist language on Top Gear, says BBC
- 2 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 4 London restaurant 34 creates champagne glass modelled on Kate Moss’ left breast
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians