Uefa pledge to support Bluebirds' flight into Europe

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Both Uefa and the Football Association held out hope yesterday that Cardiff City will be admitted into next season's Uefa Cup if they upset the odds and beat Portsmouth to win the FA Cup.

Under current Football Association rules the Bluebirds would not be allowed into Europe because they are a Welsh club playing in an English league. But the European game's governing body may give them a wild card entry if they do beat Pompey, and the FA have left the door open to a rule change themselves.

An FA spokesman said: "Following [Sunday's] FA Cup semi-final, the FA has been discussing the issue of Cardiff City entering the Uefa Cup next season should they win the FA Cup.

"At this stage we have not ruled out Cardiff City being entered into Europe via the FA Cup should they win it. However, further conversations need to take place but we would expect to have final clarification on this before the end of the month – well before the final takes place on 17 May."

The Uefa president, Michel Platini, has stated he believes Cardiff should qualify for Europe if they are FA Cup winners, and in a statement on Sunday, William Gaillard, Uefa's communications director, said: "We feel from a sporting point of view Cardiff would deserve to play in the Uefa Cup. What will be submitted to the executive committee if Cardiff win the final is the possibility of giving them a wild card."

The club's manager Dave Jones insists his side have "just as good a chance as Portsmouth" of lifting the Cup.

"It's anyone's game," he said. "West Brom played well against them. Everybody says West Brom are the best footballing side in the division, but I'll dispute that – I don't think we're that far behind.

"It will be open against a Premier League side and I'm sure they'll be favourites, but we've got to bring what we brought here, and that's a massive bonus for us.

"Now that we're there it's not just about turning up and playing a bit-part, we want to try and win it and why shouldn't we?

"We've just as good a chance as Portsmouth have because we're in the final and as I've said many times this season, if we play to our potential we're a match for anybody on the day."

Comments