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Old 16th April 2008, 11:00   #1
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Default Bluebirds given boost for flight towards Europe

Bluebirds given boost for flight towards Europe

Matt Scott
Wednesday April 16, 2008
The Guardian

Cardiff City's hopes of playing European football next season moved closer to reality last night. First they have to beat Portsmouth in next month's Cup final - or Pompey must come fifth in the Premier League - but the FA's professional game board has approved an application for the Bluebirds to become English football's first Welsh representatives in the Uefa Cup in a move that could help rebuild the Premier League's battered relations with Uefa.

Though the decision must be ratified by the FA's main board next Thursday, the five Premier League and Football League delegates on the professional game board also sit on that executive body. It is therefore unlikely that the full 12-man body will stand in the way of the move. The decision comes as an olive branch to Uefa, whose president, Michel Platini, is known to be keen on Cardiff getting their chance to play in Europe's secondary club competition next season. Relations between the English club game and European governing body soured after Platini gave the Premier League's Game 39 scheme short shrift and then effectively vetoed its plans for the introduction of goal-line technology.

But Platini's election ticket to the presidency had been to favour the rights of access to the main European competitions for Uefa's so-called minor nations and the professional game board's move will be welcomed in Nyon. Platini had ordered the executive committee to consider a "wild-card" plan for Cardiff to compete. That now appears unnecessary.,00.html
Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. Martin Luther King
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