Fulham gain Europa League spot through Fair Play league

Zoltan Gera (far right) despairs as he is sent off
Zoltan Gera was sent off on the final day of the season for Fulham

Fulham will play in the Europa League next season after earning a spot through the Fair Play League.

The Cottagers finished ahead of Blackpool by just 0.01 points.

Chelsea topped the Fair Play table, with Spurs second and Manchester United third, but as they had all qualified for Europe, Fulham got the Europa spot.

Relegated Blackpool had hoped they could leapfrog Fulham after midfielder Zoltan Gera was sent off for the Cottagers in their final league game.

That was the only red card that Mark Hughes' team received all season.

"We've got a very early start and we will have to come back on something like 23 June for a match on 30 June," Hughes told Fulham's official website.

"We'll have three to four weeks break maximum so it's difficult to plan for. A huge amount of thought needs to go into the guys that need the rest and making sure we have the right quality to move through the competition in the early rounds."

Fulham will have to play 23 matches if they are to repeat their run to the 2010 final, which they lost to Atletico Madrid.

England had received an extra Europa League place by finishing second in Uefa's fair play table for 2010/11.

Teams were awarded fair play points for each Premier League match they played during the season. These were assessed by match delegates and took into account a range of factors such as positive play, the number of red and yellow cards received, respect towards opponents and behaviour of club officials.

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