UCD could be in line for a place in the Europa League next season after it was announced that the Republic of Ireland currently tops the UEFA Respect Fair Play League table.

Ireland are currently ahead of the Netherlands, who are second and English in third place.

If Ireland is in the top three on 30 April, and has a ranking above 8.0 points, then it will be among the three countries receiving an extra place in the Europa League.

UCD will be the club to benefit even though they finished third in the SSE Airtricity League’s 2014 Fair Play table.

Dundalk, who finished first, have already qualified for the Champions League and Cork City, who were second, are guaranteed a Europa League qualifying spot so the extra place will be allocated to the third place team.

UCD were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of the 2014 season, but UEFA regulations allow for a side relegated to the second highest division to qualify for the UEFA Europa League, as a result of exemplary fair play conduct during the domestic championship.

Only clubs which have received a UEFA licence will be able to participate in the Europa League.

The UEFA fair play rankings for the current season will be based on the fair play results of all UEFA competition matches, both at club level and national team level, between 1 May 2014 and 30 April 2015.

Those fair play assessments are conducted by official UEFA delegates and are based on criteria such as positive play, respect for opponents, respect for the referee, the behaviour of the crowd and team officials, as well as cautions and dismissals.