Fair-play Fulham earn Europa League berth
LONDON (Reuters) -- Fulham will play in the Europa League next season after qualifying via the Fair Play League, the Premier League said on Thursday.
Chelsea, Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United finished as the top three in the Fair Play League but had already qualified for Europe so fourth-placed Fulham, who finished eighth in the Premier League, were awarded the berth.
Spurs are in the Europa League after finishing fifth in the domestic league and they will be joined by League Cup winners Birmingham City, who were relegated, and Stoke City, as FA Cup runners-up to Champions League-bound Manchester City. Standings in the Fair Play table are decided by a combination of five different criteria relating to the actions of players, managers and other club officials during matches.
Red and yellow cards, positive play, respect towards opponents and the referee and behaviour of officials are all taken into account.
Fulham, who reached the Europa League final in 2010, losing to Atletico Madrid, will enter next season's competition in the first qualifying round with matches played on June 30 and July 7.