The Gibraltar Football Association has announced that it has obtained an additional spot in the Europa League for Gibraltar as from next season. The news comes just as the first division kicks off tonight.
With just 24 hours before Europa Point FC meet Glacis United in the first of match of the season, the Gibraltar FA yesterday confirmed that it had been granted an additional spot in next year’s UEFA Europa League to Gibraltarian clubs.
This means that as from next season, three Gibraltarian clubs will participate in UEFA club competitions, as follows: First Division champions UEFA Champions League, Rock Cup champions UEFA Europa League and First Division runners-up UEFA Europa League.
A spokesman for the GFA explained that “therefore, in addition to this season’s winner of the Rock Cup, the First Division runner-up will also participate in the UEFA Europa League next year. Should the winner of the Rock Cup already have qualified for Europe by virtue of being 1st or 2nd in the league, then the additional UEFA Europa League spot will pass to the 3rd placed team in the league.”
“The grant of an additional spot has come about through an increase in Gibraltar’s association club co-efficient rankings, itself the result of the progress to qualifying round 2 made by Europa FC this season and Lincoln Red Imps FC for the past two seasons (in their respective European competitions). This increase in the co-efficient prompted the GFA to write to UEFA formally requesting an additional spot in the UEFA Europa League next year. Following further discussions between GFA officials and UEFA at the recent Congress in Athens, the GFA’s request has now been granted by the UEFA Executive Committee.”
The additional spot is likely to see greater competition for the top three spots in the league with teams such as Lynx, St Joseph’s and Manchester 62 looking to challenge for a European place as both Lincoln Red Imps and Europa continue to be the favourites to reach their European targets this season.