An extra European qualifying place will be awarded to the JD Cymru Premier this season following today’s cancellation of the JD Welsh Cup.
An announcement from the FAW confirmed that the current coronavirus crisis had made it impossible to make the Welsh Cup viable for a second successive season.
The National Cup Board (NCB) have also decided to cancel the FAW Women’s Cup and FAW Futsal Cup competitions.
“The decision to cancel the competition was made as the ongoing public health crisis has made it impossible to make the JD Welsh Cup viable. Currently, whilst the country remains at Alert Level 4, only clubs with an ‘Elite Status’ designation are permitted to play under the Welsh Government Coronavirus Control Plan,” read the FAW statement.
“UEFA confirmed to the FAW in writing on 29 March that taking into account the exceptional circumstances due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, the UEFA Executive Committee approved that if it would not be possible to determine a domestic cup winner on sporting merit, the highest ranking non-qualified domestic championship club will qualify automatically for the 2021/22 UEFA club competitions.”
In effect, the team finishing third (currently Bala Town) in the Cymru Premier will now automatically qualify for the new UEFA Europa Conference League Qualifying Round instead of entering the league’s Play-Offs.
Teams finishing 4th to 7th in the league will now compete in the Play-Offs. Previously, the seventh-placed team was required to play a qualifier to reach the last four.
The matter is further complicated by Haverfordwest County’s decision not to apply for an UEFA club licence for next season.
Haverfordwest are currently seventh in the table and could ensure a top-six place this weekend, will not be eligible to play in the Play-Offs without a licence.
Should Haverfordwest occupy one of the Play-Off positions at the end of the season, it is understood only three teams would compete for the league’s final European spot.