Uefa could offer wild card if Cardiff win the FA Cup

Last updated : 08 April 2008 By Michael Morris

Cardiff City may be given a wildcard into Europe if they win the FA Cup, UEFA spokesman William Gaillard revealed on Monday.

Under current Football Association (FA) rules, the Bluebirds would not qualify for the UEFA Cup as Welsh clubs only qualify through their own competitions.

But Cardiff, who face Portsmouth on May 17 after beating Barnsley in the last four on Sunday, may be given a lifeline by European football's governing body.

UEFA president Michel Platini had already pledged to help Cardiff if they were to win the FA Cup and Gaillard confirmed that there is a lot of sympathy for the Welsh side.

"Our president has asked the executive committee to look at the possibility of a wildcard," Gaillard told BBC Sport.

"From our point of view it would be sad if they win the FA Cup and cannot compete in Europe.

"So we will be suggesting this to the executive committee. There is a lot of sympathy for Cardiff and I would expect it to go their way."

The announcement from Uefa has prompted an open-ended statement from the FA.

"At this stage we have not ruled out Cardiff City being entered into Europe via The FA Cup should they win it," they said.

"However, further conversations need to take place but we would expect to have final clarification on this before the end of the month."

Should City lose the final to Portsmouth then that's it as far as Europe is concerned even if Pompey finish in the top 5 of the Premier League. The rules have changed and should Pompey finish 5th, and win the cup the spare European spot will go to the next placed Premier League team.

That's something Dave Jones does not not think is right.

"If we happen to win the FA Cup or Portsmouth get into Europe via sixth spot, the European place should go to the other club in the final," he said after Sunday's Wembley win.

"Platini has come out and said if it does happen we deserve to be there. We should do.

"Politically, it is a minefield. If we win it then we should go into Europe. There are two or three million people in Cardiff and they will all be banging on the door. There will be all hell to pay if we don't get in and I will be first in the queue."

Can I just say thanks to Uefa and Michel Platini for thier support of CCFC in this matter. It's nice to have Uefa fighting our corner after years of stalemate whenever the subject was mentioned to the home associations.