The qualification process for the 2024 iteration of the European Championship is coming to a close — but not quite for every nation.
The Euro 2024 lineup is nearly complete, with 17 teams having booked their spots for the tournament in Germany following the latest matches on November 19, including the host country plus 16 through the traditional qualifying route, including early favourites France and England. Four more will join them in the coming days.
There will, however, be a playoff process to determine the final few teams to complete the tournament’s lineup. The draw for those games is coming up this week, meaning the nations involved will soon know what is required for them to be in the main draw next year.
The Sporting News explains how the playoffs work for Euro 2024, the date of the draw, who will be competing in them, and when all the games take place.
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The Euro 2024 playoffs take place in March 2024. Twelve teams will take part.
There will be six semifinals, all held on March 21, 2024, and then three finals held on March 26. All games are one-off, single-legged affairs.
The six semifinals will be split into three sections — Path A, Path B and Path C — with two games in each and a separate draw to determine which semifinal winner will host that path’s final. The teams in each path are seeded based on their UEFA Nations League ranking, with the top seed facing the fourth seed, and second facing third.
The winners of the three finals will be added to the final lineup for Euro 2024.
With Germany qualifying automatically for Euro 2024 as the host nation, plus 20 teams (the top two from each of the 10 qualifying groups) also reaching the tournament, that leaves three places left at the 24-team tournament. Those places will go to the winners of the playoff finals in the three different paths.
The 12 teams involved are those who failed to qualify via the traditional qualifying groups but who earned a reprieve through the playoffs thanks to their performance in the 2022/23 UEFA Nations League.
Teams who have secured a top-two place in their Euros qualifying groups will obviously not be involved in the playoffs, regardless of their Nations League performances. For example, Netherlands, Spain, Serbia and Scotland all won their Nations League groups but also qualified for the Euros so are exempt from the playoff process.
As of November 20, the following teams are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs thanks to their performances in the Nations League (and the fact they haven’t qualified through the regular route):
That leaves five more places, which, at the time of writing, would go to the following teams who missed (or look set to miss) out on regular Euro 2024 qualifying:
The confirmed playoff contenders will be split into the following paths and seedings, based on their overall Nations League rankings (subject to change once the final teams are known):
The Euro 2024 playoff draw will be held in Nyon, Switzerland on Thursday, November 23. It will start at midday CET, which translates to 6 a.m. ET / 11 a.m. GMT.
The full draw for the Euro 2024 group stages will be made on Saturday, December 2. The draw ceremony is due to begin at 6 p.m. CET in Hamburg, Germany at the iconic Elbphilharmonie concert hall building.
MORE: Euro 2024 qualifying tables, fixtures and final standings