Last Updated: Thu, 18 Apr 2013 14:27
Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson's behaviour after Nani's Champions League red card could cost Saints a spot in Europe next year.
The Old Trafford supremo's press conference no-show landed him a 10,000 euros fine after he ducked out on his obligations following his side's exit at the hands of Real Madrid last month.
But his actions - and those of United star Nani and Spurs defender Jan Vertonghen - look set to scupper Southampton's chances of landing an entry into the Europa League via Uefa's Respect/Fair Play competition.
European football's governing body annually hands three nations an extra Europa League place to give to its domestic top-division, fair-play winner.
Saints sit in fifth spot in the Premier League fair-play rankings but three of the teams above them - Arsenal, Tottenham and Manchester United - look likely to qualify for Europe via the league.
The other club, Liverpool, are expected to turn down any such invitation because qualifying matches would clash with their pre-season plans, but Saints fans should not get too excited.
The last official UEFA table had England in fourth place, but two subsequent red cards - for Nani against Real and Vertonghen against Basel - plus the punishment for Ferguson are likely to keep them outside the top three - currently occupied by Norway, Sweden and Finland.
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