The UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying tournament is a football competition that is being played from March 2019 to March 2020 to determine the 24 UEFA member men’s national teams that will advance to the UEFA Euro 2020 final tournament.
The competition is linked with the 2018–19 edition of the UEFA Nations League, giving countries a secondary route to qualify for the final tournament. For the first time since 1976, no team will automatically qualify for the UEFA European Championship as the host country.
Schedule & Matches
|Qualifying group stage||Matchday 1||21–23 March 2019|
|Matchday 2||24–26 March 2019|
|Matchday 3||7–8 June 2019|
|Matchday 4||10–11 June 2019|
|Matchday 5||5–7 September 2019|
|Matchday 6||8–10 September 2019|
|Matchday 7||10–12 October 2019|
|Matchday 8||13–15 October 2019|
|Matchday 9||14–16 November 2019|
|Matchday 10||17–19 November 2019|
|Play-offs||Semi-finals||26 March 2020|
|Finals||31 March 2020|
The main qualifying process began in March 2019, instead of late 2018 immediately following the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and will end in November 2019. The qualifiers will be played on double match days in March, June, September, October and November 2019.
The format will remain largely the same, with 20 of the 24 teams for the finals tournament to be decided by the group stage. Following the admission of Kosovo to UEFA in May 2016, it was announced that the 55 teams will be drawn into 10 groups after the completion of the League phase of the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League, and the draw seeding will be based on the overall rankings of the 2018–19 UEFA Nations League.
There will be five groups of five teams, and five groups of six teams, with the four UEFA Nations League Finals participants guaranteed to be drawn into groups of five teams (so they can compete in the Nations League Finals in June 2019). The top two teams in each of the 10 groups qualify for Euro 2020.
|Team||Qualified as||Qualified on|
|Belgium||Group I winner or runner-up||10 October 2019|
|Italy||Group J winner||12 October 2019|
|Russia||Group I winner or runner-up||13 October 2019|
|Poland||Group G winner or runner-up||13 October 2019|
|Ukraine||Group B winner||14 October 2019|
|Spain||Group F winner or runner-up||15 October 2019|
|Turkey||Group H winner or runner-up||14 November 2019|
|France||Group H winner or runner-up||14 November 2019|
|England||Group A winner||14 November 2019|
|Czech Republic||Group A runner-up||14 November 2019|
How do you earn a European Championship 2020 qualifying play-off place?
As in Euro 2016, 24 teams will qualify for the tournament – but there are now two ways of getting there.
The top two in each of the ten qualifying groups will automatically progress to the tournament in 2020, leaving four spots still available.
These will be decided by the play-offs but this is where it gets interesting – those awarded play-off places are not decided during qualifying but from the Uefa Nations League tournament.
The four group winners from each league in the Uefa Nations League, including England, are already assured of a play-off place.
- League A: Switzerland, Portugal, Holland and England
- League B: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Denmark and Sweden
- League C: Scotland, Norway, Serbia and Finland
- League D: Georgia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Belarus
Any teams who automatically qualify for the tournament through the Euro 2020 qualifying phase, will be replaced in the play-off by the next best ranked team in their League – for example, Belgium is next in line for League A, Russia for B, Bulgaria in C and Luxembourg in D.
If there are less than four teams that are yet to qualify from a League then the spots are filled with sides from another League in accordance with the Uefa Nations League rankings – but group winners will not be moved up into a play-off with a higher League.
Euro 2020 Qualifying: How will the play-offs work?
In previous tournaments, all of those through to the play-offs go into a draw and the winners of those ties earn a spot in the major competition.
But this time around, each League will have their own separate play-off tournament, with a single-leg semi-final before a final to determine who will claim the Euro 2020 place.
This means Georgia, Macedonia, Kosovo and Belarus are set to battle it out for a place in next year’s competition.
Whichever team performed best in each league will host the qualifier that performed worst, with the second best qualifier hosting the third best qualifier.
That means that Scotland are guaranteed a home play-off semi-final.
However, any of the four participating nations in each league’s play-offs could host the final, with a draw being held on November 22 to decide where each final will be.
The play-offs will be played at the end of March 2020 ahead of the June/July tournament.
Get all the latest breaking news on Euro 2020 qualifying here at Anything Football.