This posts provide information on the qualifying tournament for the Euro 2020 tournament for people planning Football Trips to the qualifying games or the tournament itself. It follows on from our post on Monday with details of where the finals will be played.
Qualifying for UEFA EURO 2020 remains largely the same (with 24 finalists in all), although the European Qualifiers will now begin in the March after a major tournament instead of immediately in September (i.e. March 2019 rather than September 2018 in this case). No team will gain auomatic qualification as hosts (there are 13 host nations in all).
The 55 teams will be split into ten groups of five or six. Four of the five groups of five will contain one team that has qualified for the UEFA Nations League finals (to be played June 2019). The top two from each group will qualify for the final tournament, determining the first 20 places.
What is the basic format?
- The format of the UEFA Nations League will feature promotion and relegation and see the 55 European national teams divided into four leagues in accordance with UEFA’s national association coefficient rankings on 11 October 2017.
- League A will include the top-ranked sides and League D will include the lowest.
- Leagues A and B will consist of four groups of three teams
- League C will comprise one group of three teams and three groups of four sides
- League D will be formed by four groups of four teams
- The League Phase Draw for the UEFA Nations League will take place at the SwissTech Convention Centre in Lausanne on 24 January 2018.
- In each league, four group winners are promoted (or play in the Finals, see below) and four teams are relegated for the next competition to be played in 2020
- The overall UEFA Nations League rankings will determine the composition of the draw pots for the subsequent European Qualifiers
- In addition, the UEFA Nations League will provide teams with another chance to qualify for the UEFA EURO final tournament, with four sides qualifying through play-off matches which take place in March 2020 (see below).
When will the UEFA Nations League take place?
The UEFA Nations League will take place as follows:
- The UEFA Nations League group games will be held over six matchdays, during the ‘double-headers’ in September, October and November 2018. The UEFA Nations League Finals competition for the teams that win the four groups within the top division is scheduled for June 2019.
- For the UEFA Nations League Finals, the group winners of UEFA Nations League A will play in a knockout format (semi-finals, third-place match and final) in June 2019 to become the UEFA Nations League winners. One host country will be appointed by the UEFA Executive Committee in December 2018 from among the finalist teams.
- The play-off matches will be staged in March 2020 (see below).
Will qualifying for the UEFA EURO change?
The changes to UEFA EURO qualifying will make it more streamlined. The equation is now simple: ten groups with the top two teams in each group qualifying automatically, and the other four places being awarded to European Qualifiers play-off winners, in which the 16 group winners of the UEFA Nations League will be in contention.
The UEFA EURO 2020 qualifying draw will be made after the completion of the UEFA Nations League and allow for the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants to be drawn into groups of five teams.
But the key principle of the qualifiers remains: that every team can play every team.
The European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020 commence in March 2019. There will be two matchdays in each of March, June, September, October and November 2019. In total, there will be five groups of five teams and five groups of six teams (ten groups in all) playing over ten matchdays (the same number as now). The winner and runner-up in each of the ten groups will qualify automatically for the UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament (June 2020).
- The last four EURO places will be won through the European Qualifiers play-offs, which will take place in March 2020 and which will be contested by the 16 UEFA Nations League group winners.
- If a group winner has already qualified via the European Qualifiers, then their spot will go to the next best-ranked team in their league. If a league does not have four teams to compete, the remaining slots are allocated to teams from another league, according to the overall UEFA Nations League ranking.
- Each league will have a path of its own and each path will feature two single-leg semi-finals and one single-leg final. The winner of each path will win a ticket to UEFA EURO 2020.
Confusing? Yes this tries to explain it;