Ireland will have an extra team playing in Europe next season, thanks to the UEFA Respect Fair Play League.
European football’s governing body UEFA has announced that Holland, England and the Republic of Ireland will all get an extra place in the first qualifying round of the continent’s second-tier club competition after topping its fair play league.
The club which is at the top of each country’s domestic fair play league will qualify – unless they have already done so via leagues and cups.
UCD were relegated at the end of last season and currently lie third in the First Division but, thanks to their fair play record, will get the chance to compete with some of the big names in European football.
Ireland have today been awarded an additional UEFA Europa League spot for the Fair Play Award! UCD will get this spot subject to licensing!!— UCD AFC (@UCDAFC) May 8, 2015
UEFA said in a statement: “Winners Netherlands, second-placed England and third-placed Republic of Ireland will each be granted one additional slot to the first qualifying round of the 2015-16 UEFA Europa League.
“The fair play assessments are made by the official UEFA delegates on criteria such as positive play, respect of the opponent, respect of the referee, behaviour of the crowd and of the team officials, as well as cautions and dismissals.”