Football: West Ham set for Europa League spot, reward for England's fair-play record

QPR's Joey Barton in action with West Ham's Aaron Cresswell, in their match on April 25, 2015.West Ham United are on course for a place in next season's Europa League after Uefa said on Friday that the Premier League would be granted an additional fa
QPR's Joey Barton in action with West Ham's Aaron Cresswell, in their match on April 25, 2015.West Ham United are on course for a place in next season's Europa League after Uefa said on Friday that the Premier League would be granted an additional fair-play place. --PHOTO: REUTERS 

LONDON (Reuters) - West Ham United are on course for a place in next season's Europa League after Uefa said on Friday that the Premier League would be granted an additional fair-play place.

England finished second in Uefa's fair-play table, behind the Netherlands, and will earn an extra spot in the Europa League's first qualifying round.

"Winners Netherlands, second-placed England... will each be granted one additional slot to the first qualifying round of the 2015-16 Uefa Europa League," Uefa said in a statement.

Liverpool top the Premier League's fair-play league but Brendan Rodgers' side sit fifth in the league and are expected to qualify for Europe.

West Ham, second in the fair-play standings, are primed to take the vacant spot.

Everton, who are 11th in the Premier League, are third in the table, with Manchester City fourth and relegation-threatened Burnley fifth.

City look likely to qualify for Europe via the Champions League, however, so Burnley could play in the Europa League even if they are relegated to the Championship.

The teams finishing fifth and sixth in the Premier League qualify for a Europa League spot but the seventh-placed team could also get in if second-placed Arsenal win the FA Cup as they would relinquish their place having all but reached the Champions League.