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Seeds sewn

A minor restructuring of the Europa Conference League first qualifying round has had considerable knock-on effects for Cliftonville, with our list of potential opponents now significantly narrowed.

As is reflected in our dedicated European Guide, the extension of UEFA’s ban on Russian teams participating in their competitions has led to a reduction of entrants in the opening phase, with Suduva of Lithuania and St Patrick’s Athletic joining as-yet-unconfirmed representatives from Armenia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, North Macedonia, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia in being automatically progressed to the second qualifying round.

The gaps left by their departures has thereby confirmed that, with a UEFA Coefficient of 2.000, Cliftonville – who had been Seeded for the Club’s last entry into Europe – will now miss out on Seeded status by a very narrow margin on this occasion.

All of which means that the Reds now have 14 potential confirmed opponents, with a maximum further 17 set to be added in the coming weeks as various Leagues and Cup competitions across Europe draw to a close.

As ever, will be across all the detail in the countdown to the June 14 draw, with a simplified look at all the runners and riders available on our periodically-updated European Guide.