SSE Airicity league -Big Euro boost for the Saints

by Aaron Dunne
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St Patrick’s Athletics have benefited from UEFA’s decision to ban Russian sides from their club competitions next season as they will now enter the UEFA Conference League at the second round stage.

The move will see the Saints collect a minimum of €450,000 from their European campaign, almost double the amount they were previously due to collect.

League runners-up last term, Pat’s will be entered into UEFA competition as FAI Cup winners.

And with slots freed up by the ban on Russian sides, confirmed by the governing body on Sunday, the Saints can skip the first qualifying round.

“Due to the ongoing suspension of Russian clubs from UEFA competitions, the 2022-23 UEFA access list has been updated. As FAI cup winners, we will now enter the 2022-23 UEFA Europa Conference League in the 2nd qualifying round, pending receipt of a UEFA club licence of course,” the Saints said.

“The draw is scheduled for mid June with the games of the 2nd qualifying round scheduled for 21st and 28th July. All dates may be moved after the draw and are provisional only.”

The extension of the ban on Russian clubs will also see Celtic qualify for the group stages of the Champions League if they win the Scottish Premiership. The Bhoys, who require four points to win the title, would collect almost €50m for making to the top table of European competition.

Russia will also remain frozen out of international football for the foreseeable while UEFA have also dismissed bids to host either Euro 2028 or Euro 2032.

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