UCD could be playing European football this season, after it was announced that the Republic of Ireland tops the UEFA Respect Fair Play League standings, ahead of The Netherlands and England.
Should Ireland still be top of the standings on April 30th, and hold a ranking above 8.0, it will be one of three countries to recieve an extra place in the Europa League next season, according to RTÉ Sport.
Despite finishing third in the UEFA Respect Fair Play League table, the students will be the side to take the extra place, with leaders Dundalk and second-placed Cork City already sure of a place in the Champions League and Europa League respectively, so the extra spot goes to the Belfield club.
Although the Students were relegated to the First Division last season, UEFA’s Fair Play rules allow for a side which has been relegated to the second tier of their domestic league to qualify for the Europa League, as a result of ‘exemplary fair play conduct during the domestic championship’.
As usual, the UEFA Fair Play rankings for the current season will be based on the results of all UEFA competition matches, both at club level and national team level, between May 1, 2014 and April 30, 2015.
David Pheasey, Pundit Arena