Fair Play Reaps Rewards
Eleven teams from across Europe will tonight be hoping to gain the last two UEFA Cup places on offer for next season.
Last week, Östers IF earned a place in the 2004/05 competition after the Swedish Football Association (SvFF) finished at the top of the 2003/04 UEFA Fair Play rankings. The SvFF finished with a Fair Play average coefficient of 8.314 over the 65 matches played by Swedish teams in UEFA competitions in 2003/04. Although Östers were relegated in 2003 they finished fourth in the Swedish fair play rankings and the three teams above them had all already earned European places.
Another eleven associations - Denmark, Norway, England, Germany, Ukraine, Republic of Ireland, Finland, Spain, Albania, Armenia and Iceland - finished the season with a Fair Play coefficient of 8.0 or over, and have played enough matches to be taken into consideration. These associations will go into a draw, which will take place at half-time of the UEFA European Under-21 Championship final in Bochum, Germany tonight.
Following the draw, two clubs from the successful associations will join the Swedish side in the 2004/05 UEFA Cup qualifying round. The draw results will be available immediately on uefa.com.
The clubs nominated for the draw are:
Denmark: Esbjerg fB, winners of Denmark's domestic fair play competition.
Norway: SK Brann, runners-up in Norway's fair play competition to UEFA Champions League qualifiers Rosenborg BK.
England: Charlton Athletic FC, third in England's fair play ranking. First and second-placed Arsenal FC and Chelsea FC have already qualified for the Champions League.
Germany: SC Freiburg, fifth in Gemany's fair play ranking. First, second and third-placed VfB Stuttgart, VfL Bochum 1848, SV Werder Bremen and Bayer 04 Leverkusen have already qualified for the Champions League or UEFA Cup.
Ukraine: The Ukrainian league season runs until 19 June. Therefore the team enters the draw as 'Representative of Ukraine'.
Republic of Ireland: Cork City FC, runners-up in the domestic fair play competition to UEFA Cup qualifiers Bohemian FC. If Cork City are selected, St Pat's will get their Intertoto spot
Finland: FC Lahti, winners of Finland's domestic fair play competition.
Spain: RDC Mallorca, fourth in Spain's fair play ranking. First, second and third-placed Valencia CF, RC Deportivo La Coruña and FC Barcelona have already qualified for the Champions League.
Albania: KS Teuta, fourth in Albania's fair play ranking. First, second and third-placed KS Tirana, KS Dinamo Tirana and FK Partizani have already qualified for the Champions League or UEFA Cup.
Armenia: FC MIKA, third in Armenia's fair play ranking. First-placed FC Banants are already qualified for the UEFA Cup and second-placed FC Kotayk did not receive a UEFA licence.
Iceland: Throttur Reykjavík, winners of Iceland's domestic fair play competition.