Cardiff offered European carrot

April 25th, 2008 - 12:40 pm ICT by admin  

London, April 25 (DPA) Cardiff City will represent England in the UEFA Cup next season should they win the FA Cup, the Football Association has announced. Under current Football Association (FA) regulations, non-English teams automatically do not qualify to represent England, but after UEFA president Michel Platini had expressed his support for Cardiff, the FA has decided in their favour.

“The Board has given full approval for Cardiff City to participate in next season’s UEFA Cup as one of England’s representatives, should they win this season’s FA Cup,” an FA statement said Thursday.

“It was decided that the Welsh national anthem would also be played ahead of the game.”

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) welcomed the decision. “We entirely understood the FA’s reasons for their regulations and had no problems with them,” UEFA communications director William Gaillard said.

“We just believed that if Cardiff did win the cup and were not given qualification for the UEFA Cup then for sporting reasons we would look to offer them a wild card.”

Cardiff takes on Portsmouth in the FA Cup final on May 17.

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