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Page last updated at 12:34 GMT, Friday, 16 May 2008 13:34 UK

Man City claim last Uefa Cup slot

Man City midfielder Martin Petrov takes on Fulham's Danny Murphy
Man City beat Fulham to the final Uefa Cup place

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.

It's a confirmation that we are a good team, but also a team that behaves well on the pitch

Man City boss Sven-Goran Eriksson
"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.

see also
Man City net Uefa Cup place
02 Jun 03 |  Man City
Ups and downs
11 May 08 |  Football
Micah Richards column
16 May 08 |  Football
Thaksin denies plan to sell squad
16 May 08 |  Man City
Middlesbrough 8-1 Man City
11 May 08 |  Premier League
Eriksson remains coy over future
09 May 08 |  Man City
The end of Eriksson's era
29 Apr 08 |  Man City
Eriksson to be sacked by Man City
29 Apr 08 |  Man City

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