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Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Tuesday, 26 May 2009 13:16 UK

Motherwell win Europa League spot


Motherwell will play in next season's Europa League after being awarded a Fair Play place by the Scottish Football Association.

The Fir Park side finished behind Celtic in the Scottish Fair Play League, but the Glasgow club had already secured a European spot.

Well enter the Europa League at the first qualifying round on 2 and 9 July.

"We've made it through the back door but there will be other clubs looking on with envy," said boss Mark McGhee.

It will be the second year running that Motherwell have played in European competition, having qualified for the Uefa Cup last season after finishing third.

It is now down to all six of our teams who play in Europe next season to do well and to keep on pushing our co-efficient in the right direction

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith

This time, they were seventh but have benefitted from Scotland finishing third in the Uefa Fair Play system behind Norway and Denmark.

"We have the chance of progressing to the round we were in last year and we are absolutely thrilled," added McGhee.

"We are also very proud of the fact that we have made a conscious effort to be strict about our discipline on and off the field.

"Ever since I got to the club, we've tried to send a message: 'claim for everything but dispute nothing' and we've been active in trying to improve relations with referees."

One club from each country has won a slot in the new Europa League format, which replaces the Uefa Cup, thanks to them leading the rankings based on a points system correlating to the number of red and yellow cards administered to each club and national side in Uefa over a 12-month period.

Scottish FA chief executive Gordon Smith said: "My congratulations go to Motherwell and I wish them all the best for their European adventure next season.

"Getting into Europe shows what can be achieved when the game is played in the right manner.

"It is a lesson to everyone who plays the game and the whole country can be proud of this achievement.

"It is now down to all six of our teams who play in Europe next season to do well and to keep on pushing our co-efficient in the right direction.

"We can all look forward to the year ahead with a real sense of excitement."

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see also
McGhee hopeful of Fair Play berth
30 Apr 09 |  Motherwell

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