Fair play to Fulham as Europe calls

FULHAM could make a surprise return to European competition next season via Uefa’s Respect Fair Play ranking.

The 2010 Europa League runners-up are in pole position to benefit from the extra spot afforded to the Premier League by the governing body.

Mark Hughes’ side, who have a chance of piping Everton for seventh place in the Premier League, are in second spot in the domestic fair play table behind Chelsea, who have already qualified for the Champions League.

Fulham’s nearest challengers are Tottenham, who could possibly snatch the European place if they finish in sixth spot, missing out on automatic Europa League qualification, and above the Cottagers, who are the only top flight team not to have had a player sent off this season, in the final fair play table.

Qualification would, however, cloud Fulham’s pre-season preparations with the first round due to begin on 30 June.