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Cardiff City Should Be Allowed into the UEFA Cup

Cardiff City crest Cardiff City Should Be Allowed into the UEFA Cup

I’m not sure what the issue is here. There shouldn’t even be any debate about it; if Cardiff City becomes eligible for the UEFA Cup based on winning the FA Cup, the Bluebirds should play in Europe. If Portsmouth qualifies for the UEFA Cup through their final league position, which is possible, that would give Cardiff a berth as well because they’ve reached the FA Cup final.

I don’t care that geographically, Cardiff is a city in Wales. They play in an English-based domestic league, the Coca-Cola Championship. They don’t compete in any Welsh competitions and haven’t for a while.

FC Vaduz is based in Lichtenstein, but have qualified for European competition while playing in Switzerland’s second division and winning the Lichtenstein Cup seemingly every year. AS Monaco is located, obviously, in Monaco, but they play in France’s top flight and reached the Champions League final in 2004. Derry City plays their home games in Northern Ireland, but are part of the Irish league and have played in Europe as an Irish team.

Here in America, the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and Calgary Flames (all NHL) all are located in Canadian cities and play in American-based major professional sporting leagues, and there are countless other examples of this at the minor league and junior levels as well. If those teams reach the playoffs or win their respective leagues’ championships, it’s not like those accomplishments don’t count because they’re not American teams; they count the exact same.

Don’t tell me that because the city of Cardiff isn’t in England, their club can’t represent England in the UEFA Cup. That’s nonsense.

As usual, the English FA has taken a moronic stance towards this matter:

“Our position remains unchanged and should Cardiff win the FA Cup this season they would not be chosen as the FA’s nomination for European competition.Cardiff enter into English domestic competitions on this understanding and they are fully aware of the rules and regulations under which they take part.These rules remain the same and there would be no scope for Cardiff, or any of the other Welsh clubs in the English system, to qualify for Europe as England’s representative.”

OK, fine. I understand that Cardiff, and other Welsh teams playing in England like Swansea and Wrexham, originally had some sort of verbal agreement and understanding that they couldn’t play in Europe as a representative from England. That can surely be modified or altered in some way. Cardiff earned their way to the FA Cup final, and tradition, practice, red-tape, and geography were standing in their way.

Not so fast. I also don’t applaud UEFA president Michel Platini very often, but I absolutely will for his recent commments concering this situation. Platini wants to look into giving Cardiff a “wild card” entry into the FA Cup if necessary, which is fair.

Again, this becomes a moot point if Cardiff doesn’t win the FA Cup or Portsmouth doesn’t qualify for the UEFA Cup automatically through league position. I hope the Bluebirds do end up playing in Europe though, because not only do I want to see egg all over the FA’s face, but it’s a true underdog story that deserves a storybook ending.

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10 Responses to Cardiff City Should Be Allowed into the UEFA Cup

  1. Kartik says:

    ” Here in America, the Toronto Blue Jays (MLB), Toronto Raptors (NBA), Toronto Maple Leafs, Vancouver Canucks, Edmonton Oilers, Ottawa Senators, Montreal Canadiens, and Calgary Flames (all NHL) all are located in Canadian cities and play in American-based major professional sporting leagues, and there are countless other examples of this at the minor league and junior levels as well. If those teams reach the playoffs or win their respective leagues’ championships, it’s not like those accomplishments don’t count because they’re not American teams; they count the exact same.”

    Michael, those sports are not governed by a world governing body with clear rules. FIFA is bigger than FIBA and as far as Hockey and Baseball they don’t have any equivalent. As I am going to get into in addressing the difference of opinion Gaffer and I have on the PL issue, North American sporting culture and habits are almost 180 degrees from World Football. I personally object to Toronto being in MLS, and FIFA granting a waiver. You may not be aware of this but Toronto FC is no eligible for an MLS birth to Superliga or the CONCACAF Champions League because they are a cross border team. Canada has its own qualifying tournament for the Champions League. These rules are consistent FIFA rules. Cardiff will not be in the UEFA Cup, and no amount of Americanizing the rationalization for it will suffice.

  2. Kartik says:

    I meant to say TFC is NOT eligible for any MLS births in the Champions League and Superliga where the births are awarded to US based MLS teams not to MLS teams in general per FIFA and CONCACAF rules. If Toronto were to qualify for either event the next team eligible would replace them.

  3. Jeff Hash says:

    My problem with that statement, Kartik, is that Cardiff City doesn’t have an equivalent road to make it to Europe via Wales. The FA of Wales shut that down to them a number of years ago. At least with Toronto FC, they are allowed to make the CONCACAF tournament through the Canadian qualifying method.

    By the way, as I understand it, England’s FA hasn’t revisited this issue once since Cardiff was cut off from qualifying via Wales.

    Cardiff is not allowed in either way. That’s unjust. Either let them back in the Welsh competitions of let them go in via England. It needs to be one or the other, but they need to be allowed one.

  4. Saphhire says:

    I do hope Cardiff get the Uefa cup place – Rangers and Celtic need a precedent and this would do very, very nicely as a starting point.

  5. The Gaffer says:

    Michael,

    Just one correction. When you said that “They don’t compete in any Welsh competitions and haven’t for a while,” that’s incorrect.

    Cardiff, Swansea and Wrexham – despite playing in the English league – all play in the Welsh Cup against teams from Wales such as Llanelli, Rhyl, Carmarthen and others.

    The problem is that even if Cardiff, Swansea or Wrexham wins the Welsh Cup (a knock out tournament similar to the FA Cup), the Welsh FA doesn’t allow them to play in UEFA competitions because they play their league football in England.

    Cheers,
    The Gaffer

  6. Surge79uwf says:

    Gaffer, that’s not the Welsh Cup they compete in, it’s the FAW Premier Cup, a bulls#&t cup that the Football Association of Wales created to keep them as targets for the legitimately Welsh clubs (those competing in the Welsh Premier League) to win bragging rights. The Welsh Cup is also used by WPL and other Welsh league clubs to qualify for Europe.

  7. villafandan says:

    the welsh clubs play in the english league as guests and do so under the agreement that they can not represent the english FA in european competition.

    that’s not the case everywhere, but it is the case here and everyone knew that going in. maybe that needs to be reviewed for next time, but it smacks a bit of wanting their cake and eating it right now.

  8. Eseose says:

    Remember the FA Cup 2004? Man United beat Millwall and Millwall played in the Uefa Cup the next season right? So why shouldn’t Cardiff City play inthe Uefa Cup? Though Cardiff City would get knocked out in the qualifiying stages because they’re rubbish, you should still give the welsh side a chance. PS: Pompey played well rubbish in the Uefa Cup this season.

  9. Ezza da Gunner says:

    I don’t think that welsh football clubs would want to play in the Uefa Cup. They would always get knocked out in the first round then start moaning that they’ve never played in europe before. YOU HAVE FOR GOODNESS SAKE!!!!!!!!!

  10. Ezza da Gunner says:

    To villafandan:YOU SUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!

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