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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
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By ESPN Staff

Premier League set to get extra UEFA Cup place

BERNE, Switzerland, Feb 12 (Reuters) - England are top of UEFA's fair play rankings and could benefit from an additional UEFA Cup spot next season, European soccer's governing body said on Tuesday.

England lead Norway and Germany at the top of the table and will secure an extra place in the UEFA Cup's first qualifying round if they remain first when the final standings are calculated at the end of April.

The fair play rankings are based on the performances of national teams and clubs competing in European competition and involve criteria such as crowd behaviour, positive play and an avoidance of yellow and red cards.

UEFA said two other qualifying spots would be allocated on a lottery basis between all the associations who finish with an average fair play ranking of at least eight points.

Sweden, France, Denmark, Spain, Estonia and Finland are the other countries to have reached that benchmark.