UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs

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The play-offs of the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying tournament will decide the last four teams which will qualify for the UEFA Euro 2020 final tournament.[1] Unlike previous editions, the participants of the play-offs will not be decided based on results from the qualifying group stage. Instead, 16 teams which failed to qualify through their group will be selected based on their performance in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League. The sixteen teams will be divided into four paths, each containing four teams, with each play-off path featuring two single-leg semi-finals, and one single-leg final. The four play-off path winners will join the twenty teams which have already qualified for UEFA Euro 2020.[2][3] The matches will take place between 26 and 31 March 2020.[4]

Format[edit]

With the new play-off format, the qualifying process will guarantee that at least one team from each division of the previous Nations League season will qualify for the final tournament.[5]

The 16 teams will be selected based on their performance in the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League. These teams will be divided into four paths, each containing four teams, with one team from each path qualifying for the final tournament.[6] Each league will have its own play-off path if at least four teams are available. The Nations League group winners will automatically qualify for the play-off path of their league. If a group winner has already qualified through the conventional qualifying group stage, they will be replaced by the next best-ranked team in the same league. However, if there are not enough teams in the same league, then the spot will go to the next best team in the overall ranking. However, group winners cannot face teams from a higher league.[5]

As the final tournament draw takes place in November 2019 prior to the play-offs, should a host team qualify for the play-offs, a second final tournament draw may be required after the play-offs on 1 April 2020.[7]

Team selection[edit]

Based on the Nations League rankings, the 16 selected teams will be chosen as follows, starting with League D and working up to League A:[6]

  1. All available group winners will be selected.
  2. If a group winner has already qualified through the UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying group stage, they will be replaced by the next best-ranked team from the same league which has not also already qualified.
  3. If fewer than four teams from a given league have failed to qualify, then the remaining spaces for that league will be allocated by the overall ranking:
    1. If the league has a group winner selected for the play-offs, the next best team in the overall ranking from a lower league will be selected.
    2. If the league has no group winner available, the best team in the overall ranking will be selected.

Path formation[edit]

The 16 selected teams will then be allocated to paths of 4 teams. A draw will take place to allocate teams to the different paths, subject to the following conditions:[1]

  1. Group winners cannot form a path with a team from a higher league.
  2. If four or more teams from a league enter the play-offs, a path with four teams from the league in question must be formed.
  3. Additional conditions may be applied, subject to approval, including seeding principles and the possibility of final tournament hosts having to be drawn into different paths.

With these conditions, the draw procedure is as follows, starting with League D and working up to League A:[6]

  1. Form a path with four teams from the same league.
  2. If there are more than four teams qualified in a given league, draw which teams will participate in the play-off path of that league.
  3. Remaining teams are drawn into a path of a higher league.

If there are no teams from League A (i.e. they have all qualified directly for UEFA Euro 2020), then this procedure will result in four teams from lower leagues being allocated to the path of League A.[6]

Match pairings and rules[edit]

Each play-off path will feature two single-leg semi-finals, and one single-leg final, taking place in March 2020. Based on the Nations League rankings, the best-ranked team will host the fourth-ranked team, and the second-ranked team will host the third-ranked team. The host of the final will be decided by a draw in November 2019 between the two semi-final pairings.[8]

The play-offs are played in single-leg knockout matches. If scores are level at the end of normal time, 30 minutes of extra time is played, where each team is allowed to make a fourth substitution.[9] If the scores remain tied, a penalty shoot-out is used to determine the winner.[1]

Teams selected[edit]

The team selection process will determine the 16 teams which will compete in the play-offs.[10][11]

As of matches played on 10 September 2019 (criteria for selection)
League A
Rank Team
GW  Portugal (X)
GW  Netherlands[H] (X)
GW  England[H] (X)
GW   Switzerland (X)
5  Belgium
6  France
7  Spain[H]
8  Italy[H]
9  Croatia
10  Poland
11  Germany[H]
12  Iceland
League B
Rank Team
13 GW  Bosnia and Herzegovina (X)
14 GW  Ukraine (X)
15 GW  Denmark[H] (X)
16 GW  Sweden (X)
17  Russia[H]
18  Austria
19  Wales
20  Czech Republic
21  Slovakia
22  Turkey
23  Republic of Ireland[H]
24  Northern Ireland
League C
Rank Team
25 GW  Scotland[H] (X)
26 GW  Norway (X)
27 GW  Serbia (X)
28 GW  Finland (X)
29  Bulgaria
30  Israel
31  Hungary[H]
32  Romania[H]
33  Greece
34  Albania
35  Montenegro
36  Cyprus
37  Estonia (Y)
38  Slovenia
39  Lithuania (Z)
League D
Rank Team
40 GW  Georgia (X)
41 GW  North Macedonia (X)
42 GW  Kosovo (X)
43 GW  Belarus (X)
44  Luxembourg
45  Armenia
46  Azerbaijan[H] (Y)
47  Kazakhstan
48  Moldova
49  Gibraltar (Y)
50  Faroe Islands
51  Latvia (Y)
52  Liechtenstein
53  Andorra (E)
54  Malta (Z)
55  San Marino (E)

Key

  1. GW Nations League group winner
  2. H UEFA Euro 2020 host
  3.      Team is currently in a position to qualify directly for the final tournament
  4.      Team is currently in a position to advance to the play-offs (in bold)
  5. (X) Team is assured of a play-off spot, but may still qualify directly for the final tournament.
  6. (Y) Cannot qualify directly, but may still advance to play-offs.
  7. (Z) May qualify directly, but cannot advance to play-offs.
  8. (E) Eliminated, cannot qualify directly or advance to play-offs.

Draw[edit]

The qualifying play-off draw will take place on 22 November 2019 in order to determine the paths which the non-group winners will participate in.[12][8] The host of the play-off final of each path will also be drawn between the winners of the semi-final pairings.[13]

The following is the composition of the play-off paths:

Path A
Rank Team
1
2
3
4
Path B
Rank Team
1
2
3
4
Path C
Rank Team
1
2
3
4
Path D
Rank Team
1
2
3
4

Schedule[edit]

The 12 matches will be spread over six days, with the semi-finals on 26–28 March and the finals on 29–31 March 2020.

Times are CET/CEST,[note 1] as listed by UEFA (local times, if different, are in parentheses).

Path A[edit]

Bracket[edit]

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
26–28 March 2020
 
 
Best-ranked team
 
29–31 March 2020
 
Fourth best-ranked team
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
26–28 March 2020
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
Second best-ranked team
 
 
Third best-ranked team
 
  1. Host of the final to be drawn in November 2019 between the two semi-final pairings.

Summary[edit]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Semi-finals
Best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Fourth best-ranked team
Second best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Third best-ranked team
Final
Winners semi-final 1/2 29–31 Mar '20 Winners semi-final 1/2

Semi-finals[edit]

Best-ranked teamvFourth best-ranked team

Second best-ranked teamvThird best-ranked team

Final[edit]

Winners semi-final 1/2vWinners semi-final 1/2

Path B[edit]

Bracket[edit]

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
26–28 March 2020
 
 
Best-ranked team
 
29–31 March 2020
 
Fourth best-ranked team
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
26–28 March 2020
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
Second best-ranked team
 
 
Third best-ranked team
 
  1. Host of the final to be drawn in November 2019 between the two semi-final pairings.

Summary[edit]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Semi-finals
Best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Fourth best-ranked team
Second best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Third best-ranked team
Final
Winners semi-final 1/2 29–31 Mar '20 Winners semi-final 1/2

Semi-finals[edit]

Best-ranked teamvFourth best-ranked team

Second best-ranked teamvThird best-ranked team

Final[edit]

Winners semi-final 1/2vWinners semi-final 1/2

Path C[edit]

Bracket[edit]

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
26–28 March 2020
 
 
Best-ranked team
 
29–31 March 2020
 
Fourth best-ranked team
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
26–28 March 2020
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
Second best-ranked team
 
 
Third best-ranked team
 
  1. Host of the final to be drawn in November 2019 between the two semi-final pairings.

Summary[edit]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Semi-finals
Best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Fourth best-ranked team
Second best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Third best-ranked team
Final
Winners semi-final 1/2 29–31 Mar '20 Winners semi-final 1/2

Semi-finals[edit]

Best-ranked teamvFourth best-ranked team

Second best-ranked teamvThird best-ranked team

Final[edit]

Winners semi-final 1/2vWinners semi-final 1/2

Path D[edit]

Bracket[edit]

 
Semi-finalsFinal
 
      
 
26–28 March 2020
 
 
Best-ranked team
 
29–31 March 2020
 
Fourth best-ranked team
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
26–28 March 2020
 
Winners semi-final 1/2[†]
 
Second best-ranked team
 
 
Third best-ranked team
 
  1. Host of the final to be drawn in November 2019 between the two semi-final pairings.

Summary[edit]

Team 1  Score  Team 2
Semi-finals
Best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Fourth best-ranked team
Second best-ranked team 26–28 Mar '20 Third best-ranked team
Final
Winners semi-final 1/2 29–31 Mar '20 Winners semi-final 1/2

Semi-finals[edit]

Best-ranked teamvFourth best-ranked team

Second best-ranked teamvThird best-ranked team

Final[edit]

Winners semi-final 1/2vWinners semi-final 1/2

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ CET (UTC+1) for the semi-finals (26–28 March), and CEST (UTC+2) for the finals (29–31 March).

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2018–20" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 9 March 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  2. ^ "UEFA Nations League format and schedule approved". UEFA.com. 4 December 2014.
  3. ^ "UEFA Nations League format and schedule confirmed". UEFA. 4 December 2014.
  4. ^ "Regulations of the UEFA Nations League 2018/19" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 28 September 2017. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  5. ^ a b "UEFA Nations League format confirmed". UEFA. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d "UNL Media Briefing" (PDF). Union of European Football Associations. 20 September 2017. Archived from the original (PDF) on 5 September 2018. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
  7. ^ "UEFA EURO 2020 final tournament draw: how it will work". UEFA.com. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  8. ^ a b "UEFA EURO 2020 play-off draw". UEFA.com.
  9. ^ "Amendments to football's Laws of the Game in various UEFA competitions". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 5 July 2018.
  10. ^ "UEFA EURO 2020 play-offs as they stand". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
  11. ^ "2018/19 UEFA Nations League rankings" (PDF). UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 20 November 2018. Retrieved 21 November 2018.
  12. ^ "UEFA EURO 2020 play-off draw". UEFA.com.
  13. ^ "European Qualifiers for UEFA EURO 2020: how it works". UEFA.com. Union of European Football Associations. 25 September 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2018.

External links[edit]