In July, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has confirmed the dates for the Euro 2020 playoffs, slated to take place in March but postponed indefinitely due to the coronavirus pandemic. The European Qualifiers play-offs, now scheduled to take place on 8 October and 12 November will decide the final four places at the tournament. Here is everything you need to know about Euro 2020 playoffs.
For the first time, teams must come through more than one round and, unlike all previous editions, sides have qualified to participate via the UEFA Nations League rather than the European Qualifiers. The playoffs were formed using Nations League performance, taking the best-performing nations who did not qualify automatically. Sixteen teams will battle it out for the four remaining places.
The 16 national teams up for the slot are: Iceland, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Northern Ireland, Slovakia, Republic of Ireland, Scotland, Israel, Norway, Serbia, Georgia, Belarus, North Macedonia, Kosovo. The 16 teams have been divided into four play-off paths. Each of the four League paths will contain four teams.
Each of the four play-off paths that contain four teams will have two semifinals and a final. The highest-ranked team in each path will host the fourth-ranked team in one semi-final, with the second-ranked nation hosting the third-ranked nation in the other. The winners of each of the four League finals will qualify for Euro 2020. In November last year, UEFA has decided which team hosts the final via draw.
The play-offs are played in single-leg knockout matches. If the matches are level after 90 minutes, extra time and penalties will be used to determine a winner. The four play-off Path winners will secure the final four places at Euro 2020. Each nation will be placed into Pot 4 in the draw for next summer’s tournament finals, the date and time of which is still to be confirmed.
Play-off semi-finals (8 October)
Path A: Iceland vs Romania, Bulgaria vs Hungary
Path B: Bosnia and Herzegovina vs Northern Ireland, Slovakia vs Republic of Ireland
Path C: Scotland vs Israel, Norway vs Serbia
Path D: Georgia vs Belarus, North Macedonia vs Kosovo
Play-off finals (12 November)
Path A: Bulgaria/Hungary vs Iceland/Romania
Path B: Bosnia and Herzegovina/Northern Ireland vsSlovakia/Republic of Ireland
Path C: Norway/Serbia vs Scotland/Israel
Path D: Georgia/Belarus vs North Macedonia/Kosovo
The 32-team European Championship, in celebration of the governing body’s 60th anniversary, was due to be taking place between June 12 and July 12 in countries all across the continent. Matches were due to be played in London, Baku, Munich, Rome, Saint Petersburg, Amsterdam, Bilbao, Bucharest, Budapest, Copenhagen, Dublin and Glasgow.
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