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Page last updated at 17:26 GMT, Thursday, 24 April 2008 18:26 UK

FA approves Cardiff for Uefa Cup

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Cardiff will represent England in next season's Uefa Cup should they win the FA Cup by beating Portsmouth, the Football Association has confirmed.

The decision was taken despite FA rules stating that Welsh clubs can only qualify for Europe through their own national competitions.

The FA also decided that the Welsh national anthem would be played prior to the game at Wembley on 17 May.

Uefa had already hinted they would offer Cardiff a wild card if they won.

The FA board made the decision to allow the Bluebirds to play in Europe after an ongoing deate which started when Cardiff won the right to play in the final by beating Barnsley 1-0 at Wembley in the semi-final in April.

In a statement the FA said: "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."


Uefa communications director William Gaillard added: "We entirely understood the FA's reasons for their regulations and had no problems with them.

"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."

It is not all good news for Cardiff. If they lose the FA Cup final and Pompey finish fifth in the Premier League table, the Bluebirds will miss out on a place in Europe.

Instead, the FA will give the Uefa Cup berth to the sixth-placed team in the Premier League.

see also
Ledley claims FA Cup semi award
15 Apr 08 |  FA Cup
Uefa offers Cardiff Euro lifeline
07 Apr 08 |  Cardiff City
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales

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