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Monday, 25 March, 2002, 12:53 GMT
European qualification explained
Liverpool in Champions League action against Roma
England will have four Champions League places
BBC Sport's Colm Harrison explains the qualification criteria for next season's domestic European competitions.


  English qualification
Top four in Premiership
First and second go into first group phase
Third and Fourth into third qualifying phase
Maximum four teams no extra place should Man Utd/Liverpool win Champs League
League Cup winners Blackburn Rovers along with FA Cup winners and fifth placed Premiership go into Uefa Cup

Even if Manchester United or Liverpool are successful at Hampden Park in May, England will be represented by a maximum of four teams in the first group stage of next season's Champions League.

The Premiership's top two will go directly into the first group stage while the third and fourth placed teams will have to successfully negotiate their way through the third qualifying phase.

Meanwhile, in the Uefa Cup, England have three automatic places.

The side finishing fifth in the Premiership will qualify for the first round proper alongside League Cup winners Blackburn Rovers. There is also a place for this year's FA Cup winners/runners-up or the sixth placed Premiership side.


Champions elect Celtic will have to go down the same route as last year if they are to qualify for the Champions League first group stage next season.

The champions of Scotland will go into Europe's premier competition at the second qualifying stage. If the Bhoys win one more game it will be them.

  Scottish qualification
One team - the champions go into second qualifying tie
Must win qualifying ties to enter first round group stage
Scottish Cup winners/runners-up qualify for first round proper while second and third placed Premier League teams
Defeat at the third round qualifying stage would see the Celts revert to the Uefa Cup.

The Scots will also have three teams entered into next season's Uefa Cup competition.

The Scottish Cup winners/runners-up - either Celtic or Rangers - will go into the first round proper.

The second and third placed teams in the Premier League enter the first qualifying Uefa Cup round.

However, with Rangers likely to finish second - and qualify via the cup final anyway, the fourth placed Premier League team will also qualify.


The champions of Wales, and the Republic and Northern Ireland domestic league winners enter the first qualifying Champions League round.

  Wales, Rep and N Ireland
League of Wales champions / Irish League champions / League of Ireland champions all enter in the first qualifying Champions League round
Wales, Republic and Northern Ireland cup winners and league runners-up enter Uefa Cup

In the Uefa Cup, the winners of Wales, Republic and Northern Ireland's domestic cup competitions enter the second qualifying round. Should a team complete a league and cup double, then the losing cup finalists will qualify instead.

League of Wales runners-up,Irish League runners-up and League of Ireland runners-up go into the Uefa Cup first qualifying round.

Other British and Irish teams could also qualify for the Uefa Cup via the Fair Play League, and the Intertoto Cup.

The number of places available via the Intertoto Cup will depend on which countries accept invitations, and on whether they'll take up their full allocation.

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