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Wednesday, 10 October, 2001, 13:47 GMT 14:47 UK
Uefa rejects Welsh clubs' bid
Wrexham have won the Welsh Cup on 23 occasions
Wrexham have won the Welsh Cup on 23 occasions
Uefa has rejected a proposal from the Football Association of Wales to allow Cardiff City, Swansea City and Wrexham, the possibility of a route back into European competition.

Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham were frequent participants in the old European Cup Winners' Cup through the Welsh Cup.

But that route was closed off to them after they opted to continue in the Nationwide League rather than join the League of Wales when it was established in 1992.

Cardiff City have enjoyed success in Europe
Cardiff City have enjoyed success in Europe

The FAW recently proposed that Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham, who could all compete in Europe through winning the Premiership, FA Cup or League Cup, should also be allowed to qualify for Europe by winning the Welsh Cup.

But Uefa's executive committee rejected the proposal on Wednesday saying that teams could only take part in the Champions League or Uefa Cup by qualifying through the competitions of one national association.

Wrexham have won the Welsh Cup 23 times, Cardiff 21 times and Swansea nine times and as a result, all enjoyed a number of successful European campaigns in the now-defunct European Cup Winners' Cup.

Swansea will have to join the League of Wales to get back in Europe
Swansea will have to join the League of Wales to get back in Europe
Since then Welsh clubs in Europe have struggled to progress beyond the first stages of their competitions, though Barry Town did record a second leg win over FC Porto this season.

Uefa spokesman Mike Lee said: "While there would be nothing to stop Cardiff, Swansea or Wrexham playing in the Welsh Cup if the FA of Wales and the English FA agreed, it could not be used as a route into Europe by those clubs."

A spokesman for the League of Wales clubs said: "I don't think it would necessarily have been to the advantage of current member clubs.

"The attitude of the majority of member clubs was opposed to the idea and I think the majority will be glad to see it turned down."

While Uefa's decision is important for the Welsh clubs involved, it also sends a clear message to the Glasgow clubs of Rangers and Celtic.

If they were invited to play in the Worthington Cup, the Old Firm would not be eligible for the Uefa Cup if they won that competition.

See also:

10 Oct 01 |  Swansea City
Swansea sack seven players
10 Oct 01 |  Wrexham
Smith makes first signing
09 Oct 01 |  Cardiff City
Gabbidon high on confidence
Links to more Wales stories are at the foot of the page.


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