The action-packed group stage of the Euro 2020 qualifications ended with 20 teams successfully booked their spot in the tournament, while the 4 remaining teams will be decided in the play-offs in March 2020 to complete the qualification. Portugal will continue their title defense with the likes of Spain, Germany, Italy, in form England, Belgium and world champions France heading towards winning the prestigious competition.
Euro 2020 kicks-off on June 12 and will conclude a month after on July 12. To celebrate the tournament’s 60th birthday, 12 cities across the continent will host the games: London, Glasgow, Dublin, Rome, Baku, St Petersburg, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, Bucharest, Bilbao, Munich and Budapest. The play-off semi-finals take place on 26 March 2020 and the finals will be played on 31 March. Teams who will play in this play-off as confirmed during a separate draw in November 22 were split into 4 paths:
Path A: Iceland vs. Romania; Bulgaria vs. Hungary (winner of the Bulgaria vs. Hungary clash will be at home in the path A play-off final)
Path B: Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland; Slovakia vs. Republic of Ireland (winner of the Bosnia & Herzegovina vs. Northern Ireland will be at home in the path B play-off final)
Path C: Scotland vs. Israel; Norway vs. Serbia (winner of Norway vs. Serbia will host the path C play-off final)
Path D: Georgia vs. Belarus; North Macedonia vs. Kosovo (winner of Georgia vs. Belarus will host the path D play-off final)
Last weekend at the Romexpo Dome in Bucharest, Romania – one of the 12 tournament host cities, the draw for the 16th edition of UEFA European Football Championships confirmed the respective paths of the each team. Based on the European Qualifiers overall rankings, the 24 teams are divided into 4 seeding pots as follows:
Pot 1: Belgium, Italy (hosts, group A), England (hosts, group D), Germany (hosts, group F), Spain (hosts, group E), Ukraine.
Pot 2: France, Poland, Switzerland, Croatia, Netherlands (hosts, group C), Russia (hosts, group B)
Pot 3: Portugal, Turkey, Denmark (hosts, group B), Austria, Sweden, Czech Republic
Pot 4: Wales, Finland, Winner play-off path A (Iceland, Bulgaria or Hungary would be placed in group F, Romania would be placed in group C), Winner play-off path B (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovakia, the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland will be placed in group E), Winner play-off path C (Scotland, Norway, Serbia or Israel will be placed in group D), Winner play-off path D (Georgia, North Macedonia, Kosovo or Belarus will be placed in group C unless Romania win Path A, in which case the Path D winner will be placed in group F)
To know the spot of the drawn team within the group, a ball has been drawn from the bowl. The next ball has been drawn to be assigned to the next available group and the same procedure was repeated until one team from Pot 1 has been assigned to every group and a group position assigned to every team.
However, restrictions apply to nations like Russia and Ukraine, Serbia and Kosovo (if both teams qualify), Bosnia and Kosovo (if both teams qualify) as they have to be separated due to socio-political reason, but this only applies in the group stage and they can potentially meet in the knock-out stage.
Also, the host nations that qualify (or could qualify via the play-offs) will be placed automatically in the following groups to ensure they are at home in at least two group games. The UEFA EURO 2020 group stage draw is as follows:
Group A: Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Wales
Group B: Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Finland
Group C: Ukraine, Netherlands, Austria, Playoff D winner
Group D: England, Croatia, Czech Republic, Playoff C winner
Group E: Spain, Poland, Sweden, Playoff B winner
Group F: Germany, France, Portugal, Playoff A winner
Rome’s Stadio Olimpico will host the kick-off match on June 12, while England’s national stadium Wembley will stage both semi-finals and the final.