UEFA European Championship qualifying

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This page is a summary of the UEFA European Championship qualifying, the process that UEFA-affiliated national association football teams go through in order to qualify for the UEFA European Championship.

Since 1960, European Championship final tournaments have been contested in the summer of every fourth year. The qualifying procedure for each final tournament has usually included qualifying matches held during the two years preceding that year (for example, the Euro 2016 qualifying spanned from September 2014 to November 2015). In this article, the years correspond to the final tournaments of the European Championship, and not to the actual dates when the qualification matches were played.

Format evolution[edit]

Number of teams entering qualification
France
1960
Spain
1964
Italy
1968
Belgium
1972
Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia
1976
Italy
1980
France
1984
West Germany
1988
Sweden
1992
England
1996
Belgium
Netherlands
2000
Portugal
2004
Austria
Switzerland
2008
Poland
Ukraine
2012
France
2016
Europe
2020
total entrants[a] 17 29 31 32 32 31 32 32 34 47 49 50 50 51 53 55
(expected)
played at least one match[a] 28 33
qualified through qualification 4 4 4 4 4 7 7 7 7 15 14 15 14 14 23 24
qualified automatically 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 0
total finalists 4 4 4 4 4 8 8 8 8 16 16 16 16 16 24 24
  1. ^ a b Data is about qualifications only (automatic qualifiers are not counted).

The 1960 and 1964 qualifications consisted of a knock-out tournament only. The four quarter-final-winning teams would qualify for the final stages, and one of them would be chosen to be the host of the tournament.

The 1968, 1972, and 1976 qualifying tournaments included a group stage of eight groups. The eight group winners would advance to a quarter-final stage, which was still part of the qualifying. The four quarter-final winners would progress to the finals. Again, the host nation would be chosen among the four finalists.

From 1980 onwards, the hosting rights would be assigned in advance to one or two countries, and the host teams would be guaranteed an automatic spot in the finals and would not have to go through qualification. Also, the format was expanded to feature 8 teams. The 1980, 1984, 1988, and 1992 qualifications included seven qualifying groups, and the seven group winners would progress to the finals joining the host team.[Note 1992]

From 1996, the 16-team format was employed. The 1996 qualifying consisted of eight groups; the eight group winners and the six best runners-up would qualify directly, while the two worst runners-up would meet in a play-off to determine the last team to earn a spot in the finals, joining the host country.

In 2000, the winners of the nine qualifying groups would qualify for the finals, and so would the best runner-up. The remaining eight runners-up would enter a play-off round, where they would be paired off against each other; the winners of each pairing would qualify too. For the first time, there were two host countries; they both received automatic berths in the finals.

In 2004, along with the host team, the ten qualifying group winners would qualify, as would the winners of each of the five play-off ties which would be contested by the ten runners-up.

In 2008, the top two teams from each of the seven qualifying groups would join the two host teams to bring the number of finalists to 16.

The 2012 qualification used a format similar to that of 2000: spots would be given to nine group winners and the best runner-up, and the remaining eight runners-up would enter play-offs to determine the remaining four finalists, with automatic berths being guaranteed to the two host countries.

From 2016, the finals format was expanded again, now featuring 24 teams. The 2016 qualifying included nine groups; the winners, the runners-up, and the best third-placed team would qualify, while the remaining eight third-placed teams would form four play-off pairings to determine the last four finalists. The host nation qualified automatically.

Future changes[edit]

For the 2020 finals, to be hosted by multiple cities across Europe, there will be no automatic qualifying berths. There will be ten qualifying groups for Euro 2020, and the winners and runners-up will qualify just like previous, for 20 of the 24 places, leaving four.

The new aspect is how the inaugural 2018–19 edition of the newly created UEFA Nations League will be linked with the 2020 qualification. Nations League features four leagues (divisions) of four groups each. The best-placed team in each group of a League not yet qualified for the Euro finals (the winners, unless already qualified) will form a four-team play-off for that division, using a knock-out system of semi-finals and a final. With four Leagues, the winner of each play-off will be allocated one of the remaining four remaining places at Euro 2020.

Participating teams[edit]

All national teams that are members of UEFA are eligible to enter the qualification for the European Championship. A total of 55 distinct entities have made attempts to qualify for the European Championship. Of those, 54 are still active in the competition. Due to political changes, a few of the entities have appeared under multiple incarnations (see the footnotes to the below table), and the East Germany team is now defunct.

Saarland, a former UEFA member, merged into West Germany in 1957 and therefore did not enter the qualifiers of any European Championships.

Kosovo, which joined UEFA in 2016, is yet to make its debut.

Year Teams debuting in the European Championship qualification Number
1960  Austria,  Bulgaria,  Czechoslovakia,[S 1]  Denmark,  East Germany,[P 1]  France,  Greece,  Hungary,  Norway,  Poland,  Portugal,  Republic of Ireland,  Romania,  Soviet Union,[S 2]  Spain,  Turkey,  Yugoslavia[S 3] 17
1964  Albania,  Belgium,  England,  Iceland,  Italy,  Luxembourg,  Malta,  Netherlands,  Northern Ireland,  Sweden,   Switzerland,  Wales 12
1968  Cyprus,  Finland,  Scotland,  West Germany[S 4] 4
1972 none 0
1976 none 0
1980 none 0
1984 none 0
1988 none 0
1992  Faroe Islands,  San Marino 2
1996  Armenia,[P 2]  Azerbaijan,[P 2]  Belarus,[P 2]  Croatia,[P 3]  Estonia,[P 2]  Georgia,[P 2]  Israel,  Latvia,[P 2]  Liechtenstein,  Lithuania,[P 2]  Macedonia,[P 3]  Moldova,[P 2]  Slovakia,[P 4]  Slovenia,[P 3]  Ukraine[P 2] 15
2000  Andorra,  Bosnia and Herzegovina[P 3] 2
2004 none 0
2008  Kazakhstan[P 2] 1
2012  Montenegro[P 3] 1
2016  Gibraltar 1
2020  Kosovo[P 3] (expected)
Total 55

Successor teams inheriting the records of former teams (as considered by UEFA and FIFA):

  1. ^  Czechoslovakia later dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and was succeeded by the  Czech Republic from the 1996 qualification onwards.
  2. ^ After completing the 1992 qualification, the  Soviet Union dissolved into multiple countries, and was succeeded and replaced by the provisional  Commonwealth of Independent States team for the 1992 finals, which in turn was succeeded by  Russia from the 1996 qualification onwards.
  3. ^ The  Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia later broke up into multiple countries, and was succeeded by the  Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from the 2000 qualification. The country was renamed as  Serbia and Montenegro during the 2004 qualification. It entered the 2008 qualification, but, before playing any matches, split into the countries of Serbia and Montenegro, and was succeeded and replaced by  Serbia.
  4. ^  West Germany entered the 1992 qualification, but, before playing any matches, reunified with East Germany and was succeeded and replaced by the reunited nation of  Germany.

Teams competing as parts of other teams:

  1. ^ East Germany entered the 1992 qualification, but withdrew before playing any matches, joined West Germany, and since then competes as part of the reunited nation of Germany.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, and Ukraine previously competed as parts of the Soviet Union (1960–1992). All of them except Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania also competed in the Euro 1992 finals as parts of the Commonwealth of Independent States.
  3. ^ a b c d e f Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia previously competed as parts of SFR Yugoslavia (1960–1992). Kosovo and Montenegro then competed as parts of FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro (2000–2004). Kosovo then competed as part of Serbia (2008), before unilaterally declaring independence from it in February 2008 and eventually being admitted to UEFA in May 2016.
  4. ^ Slovakia previously competed as part of Czechoslovakia (1960–1992).

Overview[edit]

Team 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016
 Albania DNE r16 3/3 4/4 DNE DNE 5/5 4/4 5/5 5/6 5/6 4/5 5/7 5/6 2/5
 Andorra 6/6 5/5 7/7 6/6 6/6
 Armenia 6/6 5/6 4/5 7/8 3/6 5/5
 Austria QF r16 3/4 2/4 3/4 2/5 3/5 3/4 4/5 4/6 3/5 3/5 Qhost 4/6 1/6
 Azerbaijan 6/6 5/6 5/5 8/8 5/6 5/6
 Belarus 4/6 5/5 5/5 4/7 4/6 4/6
 Belgium DNE pr 2/4 1/4+QW 1/4+QF 1/5 1/4 3/5 3/4 3/6 Qhost 3/5 5/8 3/6 1/6
 Bosnia and Herzegovina 3/6 4/5 4/7 2/6+p 3/6+p
 Bulgaria r16 r16 1/4+QF 2/4 3/4 4/5 3/4 2/5 4/5 2/6 4/5 1/5 3/7 5/5 4/6
 Croatia 1/6 3/5 2/5+p 1/7 2/6+p 2/6
 Cyprus DNE 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/6 4/5 4/5 6/7 5/5 5/6
 Czech Republic (1996—)
 Czechoslovakia (1960–1992)
QW pr 2/4 2/4 1/4+QW 1/4 3/5 2/4 2/5 1/6 1/6 1/5 1/7 2/5+p 1/6
 Denmark r16 QW 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 1/5 1/4 2/5
(inv)
2/6 2/5+p 1/5 4/7 1/5 3/5+p
 East Germany r16 r16 2/4 3/4 2/4 3/5 3/4 2/5 wdr
 England DNE pr 1/4+QW 1/4+QF 2/4 1/5 2/5 1/4 1/4 Qhost 2/5+p 1/5 3/7 1/5 1/6
 Estonia 6/6 5/6 4/5 6/7 2/6+p 4/6
 Faroe Islands 5/5 5/6 6/6 5/5 7/7 6/6 5/6
 Finland DNE DNE 4/4 4/4 4/4 3/4 4/4 4/4 4/5 4/6 3/5 4/5 4/8 4/6 4/6
 France QW QF 1/4+QF 3/4 3/4 2/4 Qhost 3/5 1/5 2/6 1/6 1/5 2/7 1/6 Qhost
 Georgia 3/6 6/6 5/5 6/7 5/6 5/6
 Germany (1992—)
 West Germany (1968–1988)
DNE DNE 2/3 1/4+QW 1/4+QW 1/4 1/5 Qhost 1/4 1/6 1/5 1/5 2/7 1/6 1/6
 Gibraltar 6/6
 Greece r16 wdr 2/4 3/4 2/4 1/4 3/5 2/5 3/5 3/6 3/6 1/5 1/7 1/6 6/6
 Hungary r16 QW 1/4+QF 1/4+QW 2/4 2/4 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/6 4/5 6/7 3/6 3/6+p
 Iceland DNE pr DNE DNE 4/4 5/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 5/5 4/6 3/5 6/7 4/5 2/6
 Israel 5/6 2/5+p 3/5 4/7 3/6 4/6
 Italy DNE r16 1/4+QW 1/4+QF 3/4 Qhost 4/5 1/5 2/5 2/6 1/5 1/5 1/7 1/6 1/6
 Kazakhstan 6/8 6/6 5/6
 Kosovo
 Latvia 5/6 4/6 2/5+p 5/7 4/6 6/6
 Liechtenstein DNE DNE DNE DNE DNE 6/6 6/6 5/5 7/7 5/5 5/6
 Lithuania 3/6 4/6 4/5 5/7 4/5 5/6
 Luxembourg DNE QF 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 5/5 4/4 5/6 5/5 5/5 7/7 6/6 5/6
 Macedonia 4/6 4/5 4/5 5/7 5/6 6/6
 Malta pr DNE 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 5/5 5/5 6/6 5/5 5/5 7/7 6/6 6/6
 Moldova 4/6 5/5 4/5 5/7 5/6 6/6
 Montenegro 2/5+p 4/6
 Netherlands DNE r16 3/4 2/4 1/4+QW 1/5 2/5 1/5 1/5 2/6+p Qhost 2/5+p 2/7 1/6 4/6
 Northern Ireland DNE r16 4/4 3/4 2/4 2/5 2/5 3/4 3/5 3/6 4/5 5/5 3/7 5/6 1/6
 Norway r16 pr 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 4/4 5/5 3/5 3/6 1/6 2/5+p 3/7 3/5 3/6+p
 Poland r16 pr 3/4 2/4 2/4 2/5 3/4 4/5 3/4 4/6 3/5 3/5 1/8 Qhost 2/6
 Portugal QF pr 2/4 2/4 3/4 3/5 1/4 3/5 2/5 1/6 2/6 Qhost 2/8 2/5+p 1/5
 Republic of Ireland pr QF 3/4 4/4 2/4 3/5 3/5 1/5 2/4 2/6+p 2/5+p 3/5 3/7 2/6+p 3/6+p
 Romania QF pr 2/4 1/4+QF 2/4 3/4 1/5 2/4 3/5 1/6 1/6 3/5 1/7 3/6 2/6
 Russia (1996—)
 Soviet Union (1960–1992)
QW QW 1/4+QW 1/4+QW 1/4+QF 4/4 2/4 1/5 1/5 1/6 3/6 2/5+p 2/7 1/6 2/6
 San Marino 5/5 6/6 5/5 5/5 7/7 6/6 6/6
 Scotland DNE DNE 2/4 3/4 3/4 4/5 4/4 4/5 1/5 2/6 2/6+p 2/5+p 3/7 3/5 4/6
 Serbia (2008—)
 Serbia and Montenegro (2004)
 FR Yugoslavia (2000–2004)
 SFR Yugoslavia (1960–1992)
QW r16 1/3+QW 1/4+QF 1/4+QW 2/4 1/4 2/4 1/5
(dsq)
susp 1/5 3/5 3/8 3/6 4/5
 Slovakia 3/6 3/6 3/5 4/7 4/6 2/6
 Slovenia 5/6 2/6+p 2/5+p 6/7 4/6 3/6+p
 Spain QF QW 1/4+QF 2/4 1/4+QF 1/4 1/5 1/4 3/5 1/6 1/5 2/5+p 1/7 1/5 1/6
 Sweden DNE QF 3/4 3/4 3/4 3/4 2/5 2/5 Qhost 3/5 1/5 1/5 2/7 2/6 3/6+p
  Switzerland DNE pr 3/4 2/4 4/4 4/5 2/4 4/5 2/5 1/5 3/5 1/5 Qhost 3/5 2/6
 Turkey r16 pr 4/4 3/4 3/4 2/4 4/5 4/4 4/4 2/5 2/5+p 2/5+p 2/7 2/6+p 3/6
 Ukraine 4/6 2/6+p 3/5 4/7 Qhost 3/6+p
 Wales DNE pr 3/4 3/4 1/4+QF 3/4 2/4 3/4 2/4 6/6 4/5 2/5+p 5/7 4/5 2/6
Team 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016

Key

  • golden background = Team completed a successful qualifying campaign. Excludes automatic qualifiers; includes Yugoslavia in 1992; excludes Denmark in 1992[Note 1992]
  • red font colour = Team participated in the final tournament. Includes automatic qualifiers; includes Denmark in 1992; excludes Yugoslavia in 1992[Note 1992]
  • Qhost = Team qualified automatically as host
  • QW = Team qualified for the final tournament as quarter-finals winner
  • QF = Team was eliminated in the quarter-finals
  • r16 = Team was eliminated in the round of 16
  • pr = Team was eliminated in the preliminary round
  • X/Y = Team came Xth in a qualifying group of Y teams
  • X/Y+QW = Team came Xth in a qualifying group of Y teams and then qualified for the final tournament as winner of a subsequent quarter-final
  • X/Y+QF = Team came Xth in a qualifying group of Y teams and then was eliminated in a subsequent quarter-final
  • X/Y+p = Team came Xth in a qualifying group of Y teams and then entered a play-off round
  • dsq = Team qualified for the finals but was disqualified from participating there (Yugoslavia in 1992)[Note 1992]
  • inv = Team was invited to participate in the finals after having originally failed to qualify (Denmark in 1992)[Note 1992]
  • grey background = Team did not take part in qualifying
    • (no caption) = Association was not a UEFA member
    • DNE = Team did not enter despite association being a UEFA member
    • wdr = Team entered but withdrew before playing any matches
    • susp = Team was suspended from taking part in qualifying (Yugoslavia in 1996)[Note 1992]

Team records[edit]

Legend
Team has won the European Championship
Team has qualified for the main tournament
Team hasn't qualified for the main tournament
Team is defunct (and never qualified for the main tournament)

Up to and including the Euro 2016 qualification.

Notes on the below table:

  • Like the table at RSSSF's website,[1] this table does not take into account the Austria vs Greece Euro 1968 qualifying match. RSSSF reports that this match was abandoned at 1–1 and declared void, and does not include it in the final group standings.[2] On the other hand, however, UEFA's website accounts the match as having finished as a 1–1 draw[3] and includes it as such in the final group standings.[4]
  • The 1992 qualifying attempt is treated as successful for Yugoslavia and unsuccessful for Denmark, even though Yugoslavia did not appear in the 1992 finals while Denmark did.[Note 1992]
  • In the Euro 2016 qualification, Serbia were deducted 3 points and Croatia were deducted 1 point, which is reflected in the table.
No.[n 1] Team Qualifying attempts[n 2] Appearances
in the finals[n 3]
Overall qualification record Points[n 4]
Total Successful Pld W D L GF GA GD Total Avg
1  Spain 15 10 10 115 81 16 18 283 86 +197 259 2.252
2  Czech Republic
 Czechoslovakia
15 9 9 116 76 21 19 238 91 +147 249 2.147
3  Russia
 Soviet Union
15 11 11 120 73 29 18 235 86 +149 248 2.067
4  Netherlands 13 8 9 109 71 15 23 250 85 +165 228 2.092
5  Germany
 West Germany
12 11 12 98 69 20 9 237 61 +176 227 2.316
6  England 13 8 9 100 66 24 10 221 58 +163 222 2.220
7  Italy 13 8 9 108 64 30 14 187 72 +115 222 2.056
8  Romania 15 5 5 115 59 35 21 208 101 +107 212 1.843
9  Portugal 14 6 7 107 61 24 22 194 101 +93 207 1.935
10  France 13 7 9 102 59 26 17 206 85 +121 203 1.990
11  Sweden 13 5 6 104 55 23 26 174 102 +72 188 1.808
12  Serbia
 Serbia and Montenegro
 FR Yugoslavia
 SFR Yugoslavia
14 6 5 104 55 25 24 186 109 +77 187 1.798
13  Republic of Ireland 15 3 3 121 50 36 35 183 136 +47 186 1.537
14  Denmark 15 7 8 115 53 26 36 185 139 +46 185 1.609
15  Scotland 13 2 2 110 52 26 32 166 119 +47 182 1.655
16  Hungary 15 3 3 121 52 26 43 197 161 +36 182 1.504
17  Greece 14 4 4 109 52 22 35 158 122 +36 178 1.633
18  Belgium 13 4 5 104 49 26 29 170 112 +58 173 1.663
19  Bulgaria 15 2 2 113 49 26 38 157 120 +37 173 1.531
20  Poland 14 2 3 100 44 27 29 164 110 +54 159 1.590
21  Turkey 15 4 4 110 44 27 39 134 149 −15 159 1.445
22  Austria 14 1 2 99 45 16 38 183 146 +37 151 1.525
23  Norway 15 1 1 114 43 20 51 147 158 −11 149 1.307
24  Northern Ireland 14 1 1 110 40 25 45 120 138 −18 145 1.318
25  Wales 14 1 1 104 41 21 42 125 133 −8 144 1.385
26   Switzerland 13 3 4 92 39 22 31 153 116 +37 139 1.511
27  Croatia 6 5 5 62 40 14 8 118 39 +79 133 2.145
28  Finland 13 0 0 104 27 24 53 109 162 −53 105 1.010
29  Slovakia 6 1 1 60 28 10 22 94 77 +17 94 1.567
30  Slovenia 6 1 1 66 25 14 27 83 80 +3 89 1.348
31  Iceland 12 1 1 96 24 17 55 81 146 −65 89 0.927
32  Israel 6 0 0 60 25 11 24 96 78 +18 86 1.433
33  Ukraine 5 1 2 54 23 15 16 73 53 +20 84 1.556
34  Bosnia and Herzegovina 5 0 0 54 22 10 22 74 76 −2 76 1.407
35  Latvia 6 1 1 62 20 13 29 67 88 −21 73 1.177
36  East Germany 8 0 0 46 20 12 14 76 57 +19 72 1.565
37  Albania 12 1 1 91 16 22 53 72 159 −87 70 0.769
38  Lithuania 6 0 0 58 20 8 30 50 83 −33 68 1.172
39  Cyprus 13 0 0 104 16 14 74 83 268 −185 62 0.596
40  Georgia 6 0 0 60 16 8 36 63 89 −26 56 0.933
41  Belarus 6 0 0 58 14 12 32 49 87 −38 54 0.931
42  Estonia 6 0 0 62 15 8 39 47 103 −56 53 0.855
43  Armenia 6 0 0 58 12 12 34 51 85 −34 48 0.828
44  Macedonia 6 0 0 58 11 14 33 59 90 −31 47 0.810
45  Moldova 6 0 0 58 11 9 38 51 114 −63 42 0.724
46  Luxembourg 14 0 0 109 7 10 92 44 303 −259 31 0.284
47  Azerbaijan 6 0 0 60 6 9 45 36 147 −111 27 0.450
48  Faroe Islands 7 0 0 68 6 6 56 40 182 −142 24 0.353
49  Montenegro 2 0 0 20 6 5 9 17 23 −6 23 1.150
50  Malta 13 0 0 102 3 14 85 49 288 −239 23 0.225
51  Liechtenstein 6 0 0 58 5 7 46 19 176 −157 22 0.379
52  Kazakhstan 3 0 0 34 4 7 23 24 63 −39 19 0.559
53  San Marino 7 0 0 66 0 1 65 7 289 −282 1 0.015
54  Kosovo 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
55  Gibraltar 1 0 0 10 0 0 10 2 56 −54 0 0.000
56  Andorra 5 0 0 50 0 0 50 11 149 −138 0 0.000

Footnotes

  1. ^ Teams are ranked by total points, then by goal difference, then by goals scored. Note that this column does not represent any official rankings.
  2. ^ Only qualifying campaigns are counted where the team played at least one match.
  3. ^ Including automatic qualifiers.
  4. ^ The three points for a win system is used.

Notes[edit]

  1. Note 1992: Yugoslavia won their 1992 qualifying group and were due to compete at UEFA Euro 1992, but were banned from participating as the country was under international sanctions by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 757 because of the Yugoslav Wars.[5] The sanctions also resulted in the team being banned from entering the 1996 qualification. Denmark, who had originally failed to qualify for the 1992 finals finishing second in Yugoslavia's qualifying group, were invited to replace Yugoslavia in the finals. In the tables in this article, the 1992 qualifying campaign is treated as successful for Yugoslavia and unsuccessful for Denmark.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "European Championship 1958-2008 All-Time Rankings. All-Time Table Qualifying Stages". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "European Championship 1968". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  3. ^ "UEFA EURO 1968 - History - Austria-Greece". UEFA. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  4. ^ "UEFA EURO 1968 - History - Standings". UEFA. Retrieved 26 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "United Nations Security Council Resolution 757 (Implementing Trade Embargo on Yugoslavia)". University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. Retrieved 27 July 2014. 

External links[edit]

See also[edit]