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Derry get Europa bye

DERRY CITY have become the unlikely beneficiaries of Chelsea's Europa League final win as they have been handed a bye into the second qualifying round of the competition for next season.

Derry had been faced with the prospect of playing in the first qualifying round but because Chelsea have already qualified for the Champions League, their slot in the Europa League was up for grabs and passes to The Candystripes.

"This is as a consequence of the 2012/13 UEFA Europa League winners Chelsea FC having qualified for the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League as the third-placed team in their domestic championship, which means that the place provisionally reserved for the title holders in the group stages of the 2013/14 UEFA Europa League is now vacant," an FAI statement said.

St Patrick's Athletic and Drogheda United will also play in the Europa League next season.

The draw for the European games will be made on June 24, with the Europa League first-round ties on July 4 and 11, and the second round being played on July 18 and 25.