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Are Everton set to earn bonus Champions League place?

The silly season already seems to have hit its peak…

Pablo Blazquez Dominguez

Everton and Manchester United reportedly could be given bonus places in the Champions League and Europa League respectively due to the on-going crisis in Ukraine.

According to this article by a Spanish journalist, the escalating tensions in the country due its dispute with Russia could see the five teams who qualified for Europe excluded from their respective competitions

The article claims UEFA regulations forbid teams from taking part in UEFA competitions when their country has issues of civil order.

Shakhtar Donestk and Dnipro finished first and second, therefore earning Champions League spots while Metalist Kharkiv, Dynamo Kiev and Chornomorets finished in the top five and gaining a Europa League place.

Should all five be kicked out then the places could be offered to the countries with the highest UEFA coefficient – currently Spain and England.

That in theory would see Sevilla and Everton – sides who finished just outside the Champions League places – promoted to the competition while Valencia and Man Utd would take their places in the Europa League.

Back in February Dynamo Kiev were forced to play a Europa League tie in Nicosia due to anti-government protests in Ukraine. However, Tottenham still played their tie in Dnipro as the situation there was not considered as dangerous at the time.

Despite that I would not get your hopes up about a bonus Champions League place for Everton, even if UEFA have changed the rules before they are keen to avoid having more than four teams from one country in the competition and such actions would  also open up a legal minefield.

UEFA are unlikely to be happy with the possibility of a whole season’s worth of European games being played at a different stadium or even country due to safety concerns either, but that is probably the most likely outcome of any investigation rather than any bonus places elsewhere.

*Update* The Liverpool Echo's Greg O'Keefe has spoken to UEFA and says they have no plans to sanction Ukrainian clubs and/or offer extra places to England. You can all stop getting excited now.