Belfast Telegraph

Hammers poised for Europa League

West Ham are front-runners to win England's fair play place in the Europa League next season.

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. In England, Liverpool are top but are likely to qualify via league position and West Ham are next, followed by Everton.

The Hammers play Everton on May 16, so it may a case of whichever club behaves best on the pitch gets the Europa League place.

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."


From Belfast Telegraph