St Patrick's Athletic have contacted the FAI to object to Waterford United being granted a place in the Europa League qualifiers, which are starting this summer. The Dublin club believe that Waterford should not be allowed to enter the competition under current UEFA legislation.
Waterford finished fourth in last season's SSE Airtricity Premier Division, securing a place in Europe's second tier club competition as a result. St Pat's finished one spot further back in fifth place.
However, St Pat's believe that Waterford do not meet the criteria required to enter the competition and have contacted the FAI regarding the matter. The FAI released a short statement this evening regarding the matter:
The Football Association of Ireland can confirm that it is in receipt of a letter from St Patrick's Athletic in relation to UEFA Club Licensing and is looking into the matter.
It is believed their complaint is in relation to a UEFA rule which states that a club must be in existence for three consecutive years before being allowed to enter UEFA competitions. Waterford were taken under new ownership in 2017 and rebranded as 'Waterford United'.
St Pat's believe this constitutes a new club, making them ineligible for the competition. As they finished one place below Waterford last season, they would take their place in the Europa League qualifiers.
There is some precedent for such a ruling, with Bohemians replacing Derry City in the Europa League in 2012 for this very reason.