Euro 2024 Qualifications: Last Chance for Teams to Secure a Spot
Tuesday evening marks the conclusion of the Euro 2024 qualifications, with the group stage coming to an end and the last four directly qualifying places up for grabs. For twelve nations, there remains a small chance of making it to Germany in June, as they will compete in the three jump-offs scheduled for March. These matches serve as a catch-up opportunity for the most deserving teams, based on their performance in the 2022-2023 Nations League rather than the qualifications.
The Play-Offs: A Second Chance for the Best Teams
The best teams in each league (A, B, and C) have a chance to secure their qualification through the play-offs, provided they haven’t already qualified via the group stage. Each league will have its own play-off consisting of four teams, with the semi-finals taking place on March 21 and the final on March 26. For example, if Croatia, the unfortunate finalist of the League of Nations against Spain, fails to secure a win against Wales in their group, they could still secure a place in the semi-finals of Path A.
Allocation of Play-Off Places
If Croatia retains second place in their group, the play-off ticket will go to a lower-ranked team in their league. The allocation of places depends on the overall standings in the League of Nations, which will determine the fate of teams like Italy and the Czech Republic.
Remaining Teams in League A
Among the teams in League A, only Croatia, Italy, Poland, Czech Republic, and Wales have yet to secure their ticket for the Euro. By Tuesday evening, all of them have the opportunity to qualify, except for Poland, who is guaranteed a spot. Wales, on the other hand, needs at least one higher-ranked team in League A to qualify directly in order to reach the play-offs. The other nations will have a “second chance” if they fail to qualify by Tuesday evening.
Estonia’s Unexpected Opportunity
To add to the complexity, if any of the paths A, B, or C are incomplete, the first available place will be given to the team with the best ranking in League D, which is Estonia. Unless both Italy and the Czech Republic fail to secure direct qualification, Estonia will be part of the play-offs, facing a challenging semi-final in Path A.
Clearing Up the Qualification Picture
Group winners in the League of Nations, including Israel and Bosnia-Herzegovina in League B, and Georgia, Greece, and Kazakhstan (if not qualified) in League C, will compete in the play-offs corresponding to their respective leagues. The matches on Tuesday evening will provide further clarity on the list of direct qualifiers and play-off participants. Only Croatia and Wales will have their fate decided on Tuesday, as they battle for a spot in Germany or the League A play-offs. In the event that additional teams from League B are needed to complete Path A, a draw will be held on Thursday in Nyon to determine them.
Published on November 20, 2023 at 9:18 a.m.