English Premiership

Hammers handed Europa spot

2015-05-26 16:49
West Ham celebrate Mohamed Diame's goal (AFP)

London - West Ham United have qualified for next season's Europa League by topping the Premier League's Fair Play table, the London club have announced on Tuesday.

West Ham, who announced manager Sam Allardyce's departure on Sunday after finishing 12th in the Premier League, will enter the competition along with 103 other teams in the first qualifying round on July 2.

It is the first time they have qualified for European competition since 2006.

"We are delighted to have won a place in the UEFA Europa League as we want to ensure the Boleyn Ground the best send-off possible (before moving into London's Olympic Stadium in 2016-17), and progress in this competition will certainly help with that," said joint-chairmen David Sullivan and David Gold in a statement.

"Starting in early July will bring its challenges, but everyone at the club, from the board to the players and supporters, will be relishing the opportunity to feature on the European stage. It should be a fantastic experience."

West Ham will learn their opponents for the first qualifying round when the draw is made on June 22 and will have to get through four qualifying rounds if they are to reach the tournament's group phase.

England are ranked second in European governing body UEFA's Respect Fair Play ranking, which means they receive an extra berth for the Europa League.


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