The Gibraltar Football Association today broke the news which had been anticipated for some time. UEFA today confirmed that Gibraltar will be handed an extra spot in next season’s UEFA Europa League. This means that for the coming Premier Division season, clubs will now have 3 European spots to fight for:
- UEFA Champions League spot for the League winners
- UEFA Europa League spot for the League runners-up
- UEFA Europa League spot for the Rock Cup winners*
*Should the Rock Cup winner have already qualified for the either European competition by virtue of a top 2 finish in the league, then the 2nd Europa League spot will be handed down to the team that finishes in 3rd place in the league.
In a statement today, the Gibraltar FA confirmed:
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 QR2 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.
In the qualifying stages of this season’s European competition, Lincoln Red Imps, in their 3rd participation, reached the 2nd qualifying round for the 2nd season running after beating Flora Tallinn, secured a tie against Scottish Champions. Lincoln famously defeated Celtic at the Victoria Stadium (1-0) but lost the 2nd leg (3-0) as Celtic have now gone on to reach the group stages of the Champions League.
In the Europa League, Europa, also in their 3rd participation, recorded a series of firsts this season. They scored their first goal, their first win and progressed into the 2nd qualifying round for the first time after beating Armenian side FC Pyunik but eventually fell in the 2nd round to Sweden’s AIK (2-0 on aggregate)