The SSE Airtricity League will receive an extra place in next season's Europa League, with UCD set to benefit, after Ireland finished third in the UEFA Respect Fair Play rankings.

Ireland finished behind the Netherlands and England in the rankings, with the top three countries being awarded an extra Europa League spot.

As a result, there will be four Irish clubs competing in the 2015-16 Europa League, and UCD are in line to claim that extra place having finished top of last season's Premier Division Fair Play table.

The participation of UCD, who were relegated to the First Division last season, would depend on them meeting the licencing criteria for the Europa League.

The Fair Play assessments are made by the official UEFA delegates on criteria such as positive play, respect for the opposition, respect for the referee, behaviour of the crowd and of the team officials, as well as cautions and dismissals.

The first qualifying round will takes place on 2 July, while the draw will be made on 22 June. 

Speaking today, SSE Airtricity League director Fran Gavin said: "We welcome the news that the Republic of Ireland has been named in the top three countries in Europe for the UEFA Respect Fair Play award.

"From the table, we had been aware of the possibility of an extra European place for the SSE Airtricity League for some time, but had to wait until today to get final confirmation.  

"Under the UEFA criteria, UCD is the club which stands to earn the additional place.

"To do so, they need a licence, and an application has already been submitted to UEFA. We hope to hear back shortly."