Norway lead the interim UEFA Fair Play ranking list for the current season.
The Norwegians lie ahead of two other Scandinavian countries, Sweden and Finland, in the ranking list, which includes the Fair Play scores for all UEFA competition matches played between European teams since 1 June.
Race for UEFA Cup places
Norway (8.375 points from 38 matches), Sweden (8.230 from 48) and Finland (8.207 from 39) are facing a stern challenge from England (8.169 from 77), Germany (8.151 from 87) and Iceland (8.144 from 36) in the race for additional UEFA Cup places next season.
Three places at stake
The top association in the final table will automatically receive an extra UEFA Cup place in the 2002/03 season, and two further associations will be given a UEFA Cup berth in a draw featuring those countries averaging a mark of at least 8.00 over the entire 2001/02 season. Seventeen countries are currently in contention for the three places.
Minimum 20 matches
The interim ranking until the end of December involved a cut-off point of 20 matches, which was deemed to be the minimum number of matches required for inclusion (i.e. the total number of matches in all UEFA competitions - 1,041 - divided by the 51 UEFA member associations).
UEFA’s fair play assessment identifies six criteria for the evaluation of the Fair Play score – red and yellow cards, positive play, respect of the opponent, respect of the referee, behaviour of team officials and behaviour of the crowd. A system of points is then given for each of these criteria, and an association coefficient is calculated on the basis of the number of matches played by teams from the association.
"The ranking system and the possibility of a UEFA Cup place is an important contribution to the encouragement of fair play in European football," said UEFA director of communications and public affairs Mike Lee.
Values of sportsmanship
"As the competition for qualification places has increased, so has the need for us to be reminded of the importance of the values of fair play and sportsmanship. We hope that this system helps reinforce that message."
The ranking list as at 14 December:
|25.||Rep. of Ireland||7.929||26|
|Total Matches: 1041|