UEFA European Championship qualifying
|Qualification for championships (UEFA)|
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 year that is divisible by 4. 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.
|played at least one match||28||33|
|qualified through qualification||4||4||4||4||4||7||7||7||7||15||14||15||14||14||23||20|
|qualified through Nations League play-offs||N/A||4|
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: 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. 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. The legends and the footnotes explain how the tables below reflect this.
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.
The 2016 finals will be contested by 24 teams for the first time. The host nation has qualified automatically. 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.
For the 2020 finals, to be hosted by multiple cities across Europe, there will be no automatic qualifying berths, and the 2020 qualification will be linked with the inaugural 2018–19 edition of the newly-created UEFA Nations League. There will be ten qualifying groups for Euro 2020, and the winners and runners-up will qualify; then, the four winners (or the four best-placed teams not yet qualified for the Euro finals) of each of the four divisions of the Nations League will compete in the play-offs for that division, and the winners of the play-offs for each division will be allocated the remaining four remaining Euro 2020 places.
All national teams that are members of UEFA are eligible to enter the qualification for the European Championship. A total of 55 distinct teams have made attempts to qualify for the European Championship. One of them, East Germany, is now defunct, while the rest 54 are still active in the competition; a few of them have appeared under multiple incarnations (see the footnotes to the below table).
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|
|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|
Teams succeeding other teams (as considered by UEFA and FIFA):
- Czechoslovakia later dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia, and was succeeded by the Czech Republic from 1996 onwards.
- 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 Euro 1992 finals, which in turn was succeeded by Russia from 1996 onwards.
- 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.
- 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:
- East Germany entered the 1992 qualification, but withdrew before playing any matches and reunified with West Germany, and since then competes as part of the reunited nation of Germany.
- 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.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Slovenia previously competed as parts of SFR Yugoslavia (1960–1992). Montenegro then competed as part of FR Yugoslavia/Serbia and Montenegro (2000–2004).
- Slovakia previously competed as part of Czechoslovakia (1960–1992).
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||3/6||4/5||4/7||2/6+p||3/6+p|
| Czech Republic (1996—)
| Germany (1992—)
West Germany (1968–1988)
|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|
| Russia (1996—)
Soviet Union (1960–1992)
| Serbia (2008—)
Serbia and Montenegro (2004)
FR Yugoslavia (2000–2004)
SFR Yugoslavia (1960–1992)
- golden background = Team completed a successful qualifying campaign. Excludes automatic qualifiers; includes Yugoslavia in 1992; excludes Denmark in 1992 (see above)
- red font colour = Team participated in the final tournament. Includes automatic qualifiers; includes Denmark in 1992; excludes Yugoslavia in 1992 (see above)
- 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, see above)
- inv = Team was invited to participate in the finals after having originally failed to qualify (Denmark in 1992, see above)
- 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, see above)
|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 hasn't qualified for the main tournament)|
Up to and including the Euro 2016 qualification.
- Like the table at RSSSF's website, the below 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. However, UEFA's website accounts the match as having finished as a 1–1 draw and includes it as such in the final group standings.
- In the Euro 2016 qualification, Serbia were deducted 3 points, and Croatia were deducted 1 point.
in the finals[n 2]
|Qualifying attempts[n 4]||Overall qualification record|
| Czech Republic
Serbia and Montenegro
|Republic of Ireland||15||3||3||121||50||36||35||183||136||+47||186|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||5||0||0||54||22||10||22||74||76||−2||76|
- Includes Yugoslavia in 1992; excludes Denmark in 1992 (see above).
- Includes automatic qualifiers. Includes Denmark in 1992; excludes Yugoslavia in 1992 (see above).
- The three points for a win system is used. This column exists for comparison purposes only, and does not represent any official rankings.
- Excludes automatic qualifiers.
- "United Nations Security Council Resolution 757 (Implementing Trade Embargo on Yugoslavia)". University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. Retrieved 27 July 2014.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "All-Time Table Qualifying Stages". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "European Championship 1968". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "UEFA EURO 1968 - History - Austria-Greece". UEFA. Retrieved 26 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
- "UEFA EURO 1968 - History - Standings". UEFA. Retrieved 26 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>