Man City claim last Uefa Cup slot


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Jul 30, 2006
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Made in Belfast
Manchester City will play in next season's Uefa Cup after claiming a place via the Premier League's fair play table.
England were awarded an extra place in the tournament after the Premier League came top of Uefa's fair play rankings.
Sven-Goran Eriksson's side finished sixth in the Premier League fair play table, but all the sides above them had already qualified for Europe.
City will join the Uefa Cup at the first qualifying round stage in July.
They had feared losing out to Fulham in the race for European football after centre-back Richard Dunne was sent off in the 8-1 defeat by Middlesbrough in their final game of the season.
"It's like the dream came true," Eriksson, whose future at the club is in serious doubt, told the club's official website. "Our dream to play in Europe has been strong all season.
"At one point we thought we were almost sure to get there, at other points we've been almost out of it, but now this news is absolutely fantastic for the club, for the fans and for everyone.
It's a step in the right direction because the target for this club in the future is to play in the Champions League, and the Uefa Cup is a very good school to learn about European football.

"It's a confirmation that we are a good team, but also a team that behaves well on the pitch, we are good with the referees and we try to follow the rules as much as possible. It's like a bonus for us."
Club chairman Thaksin Shinawatra added: "I am delighted for everybody at the club, especially our supporters." City, who finished in ninth place in the league table, qualified for the Uefa Cup on the same basis in 2003.
The fair play system awards points based on criteria including respect for opponents and the referee, positive play as well as the number of yellow and red cards received.

City will not be able to host the first qualifying round tie at Eastlands as the pitch is due to be relaid once a Bon Jovi concert has taken place on 22 June.
Huddersfield's Galpharm Stadium, which usually plays host to rugby league in the summer, has been mentioned as a possible alternative. The draw for the first qualifying round will be made on 30 June, with City placed in the Northern section.

BBC Sport