UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group I
The UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group I was one of the nine groups to decide which teams would qualify for the UEFA Euro 2016 finals tournament. Group I consisted of five teams: Portugal, Denmark, Serbia, Armenia, and Albania, where they played against each other home-and-away in a round-robin format.
The top two teams would qualify directly for the finals. The third-placed team would qualify directly too if they had the best records among the third-placed teams of all qualifying groups, otherwise they would enter the play-offs for another chance to qualify.
France were also partnered with the five-team Group I, which enabled the 2016 tournament hosts to play centralised friendlies against these countries on their 'spare' dates. However, these friendlies did not count in the qualifying group standings.
Portugal and Albania qualified for the finals as the group winners and runners-up respectively. As third-placed Denmark weren't the highest-ranked among all third-placed teams, they advanced to the play-offs, where they lost to Sweden and thus failed to qualify.
|1||Portugal||8||7||0||1||11||5||+6||21||Qualify for final tournament||—||0–1||1–0||2–1||1–0|
|3||Denmark||8||3||3||2||8||5||+3||12||Advance to play-offs||0–1||0–0||—||2–0||2–1|
- The Serbia v Albania match was awarded as a 3–0 win to Albania, and Serbia were also deducted three points, after the match was abandoned at 0–0 because home fans invaded the pitch and attacked Albania players when a drone carried a pro-Albanian flag over the stadium.
There were 39 goals scored in 20 matches, for an average of 1.95 goals per match.[note 5]
- Bekim Balaj
- Berat Djimsiti
- Shkëlzen Gashi
- Ermir Lenjani
- Mërgim Mavraj
- Armando Sadiku
- Robert Arzumanyan
- Henrikh Mkhitaryan
- Hrayr Mkoyan
- Marcos Pizzelli
- Pierre-Emile Højbjerg
- Thomas Kahlenberg
- Simon Kjær
- Jakob Poulsen
- Yussuf Poulsen
- Lasse Vibe
- Ricardo Carvalho
- Fábio Coentrão
- Miguel Veloso
- Aleksandar Kolarov
- Nemanja Matić
1 own goal
A player is automatically suspended for the next match for the following offences:
- Receiving a red card (red card suspensions may be extended for serious offences)
- Receiving three yellow cards in three different matches, as well as after fifth and any subsequent yellow card (yellow card suspensions are carried forward to the play-offs, but not the finals or any other future international matches)
The following suspensions were (or will be) served during the qualifying matches:
|Team||Player||Offence(s)||Suspended for match(es)|
|Albania||Ansi Agolli|| vs Serbia (14 October 2014)
vs Denmark (4 September 2015)
vs Serbia (8 October 2015)
|vs Armenia (11 October 2015)|
|Armenia||Hovhannes Hambardzumyan||vs Albania (29 March 2015)||vs Portugal (13 June 2015)|
|Portugal||Tiago||vs Armenia (13 June 2015)||vs Albania (7 September 2015)|
Portugal coach Fernando Santos was to serve an eight-match touchline ban for unsporting conduct towards the match officials when he was in charge of Greece against Costa Rica in the 2014 FIFA World Cup round of 16 match. The ban was temporarily suspended by the Court of Arbitration for Sport until the final appeal. On 23 March 2015, the CAS ruled that his ban should be reduced to four games, with two suspended during a six-month probationary period, meaning he missed Portugal's matches against Serbia (29 March 2015) and Armenia (13 June 2015).
- CET (UTC+1) for matches on 14 November 2014, and CEST (UTC+2) for all other matches.
- Albania played their home matches at Elbasan Arena, Elbasan instead of their regular stadium, Qemal Stafa National Stadium, Tirana, as the national stadium would be reconstructed.
- The Serbia v Albania match was abandoned with the score at 0–0 shortly before halftime after "various incidents", which resulted in the Albania players refusing to return to the field. UEFA ruled that Albania had forfeited the match and awarded a 3–0 win to Serbia, but also deducted three points from Serbia for their involvement in the events. Serbia also had to play their next two home qualifying games behind closed doors, and both the Serbian and Albanian FAs were fined €100,000. Both the Serbian and Albanian football associations were looking to have the decision revisited, but the decision was upheld by UEFA. Both associations then filed further appeals to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and on 10 July 2015 the Court of Arbitration for Sport rejected the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, and upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA, meaning the match is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia with 0–3 and they are still deducted three points. Serbian FA announced appeal at the Federal Supreme Court of Switzerland.
- Played behind closed doors due to a sanction imposed on Serbia after the abandoned match against Albania.
- The goal tally takes into account the original result of fixtures that were subsequently forfeited, not the awarded scoreline.
- "UEFA EURO 2016 Qualifying Draw Procedure" (PDF). UEFA. p. 1. Retrieved 22 February 2014.
- "Spain face Ukraine return in EURO 2016 qualifying". UEFA.com. 23 February 2014.
- "Regulations of the UEFA European Football Championship 2014-16" (PDF). UEFA.com.
- "Centralised friendlies" (PDF). UEFA.com.
- "Qualifying fixtures" (PDF). UEFA.com.
- "Armenia vs. Serbia". Soccerway. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Albania vs. Denmark". Soccerway. 11 October 2014. Retrieved 17 September 2015.
- "Serbia and Albania disciplinary decision". UEFA. Retrieved 24 October 2014.
- AFP (25 October 2014). "Albania to appeal UEFA punishment over Serbia fracas". Business Insider. Retrieved 26 October 2014.
- "Serbia to appeal Uefa decision". Goal.com. 24 October 2014.
- "Decisions upheld for Serbia-Albania match". UEFA.com. 2 December 2014.
- "The football associations of Albania and Serbia file appeals at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)" (PDF). tas-cas.org. Court of Arbitration for Sport. Retrieved 8 January 2015.
- "FOOTBALL: The CAS rejects the appeal filed by the Serbian FA, upholds in part the appeal filed by the Albanian FA: the match Serbia-Albania is deemed to have been forfeited by Serbia (0-3)". Tribunal Arbitral du Sport / Court of Arbitration for Sport. 10 July 2015. Retrieved 10 July 2015.
- "Fudbalski savez Srbije - zvanična web prezentacija". fss.rs.
- "Armenia 2 - 3 Portugal Match report - 6/13/15 EC Qualification - Goal.com". goal.com.
- "Denmark 2 - 0 Serbia Team line-ups 6/13/15 - EC Qualification - Goal.com". goal.com.
- "Denmark vs. Albania - 4 September 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Armenia vs. Denmark - 7 September 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Albania vs. Portugal - 7 September 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Albania vs. Serbia - 8 October 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Portugal vs. Denmark - 8 October 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Armenia vs. Albania - 11 October 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Serbia vs. Portugal - 11 October 2015 - Soccerway". soccerway.com. Retrieved 15 October 2015.
- "Update on FIFA Disciplinary Committee decisions on World Cup cases". FIFA.com. 4 August 2014.
- "CAS temporarily lifts Portugal coach Fernando Santos' eight-game ban". ESPNFC.com. 13 October 2014.
- "Portugal boss Santos sees touchline ban halved". Goal.com. 23 March 2015.