UEFA European Championship qualifying

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.

UEFA European Championship qualifying
UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying.png
Founded1958
RegionEurope (UEFA)
Number of teams55 (currently)
56 (overall)
Qualifier forUEFA European Championship
Related competitionsUEFA Nations League
WebsiteOfficial website

In this article, the years represent the final tournaments of the European Championship, and are not meant to correspond to the actual dates when the qualification matches were played.

Format evolutionEdit

Number of teams entering qualification
 
1960
 
1964
 
1968
 
1972
 
1976
 
1980
 
1984
 
1988
 
1992
 
1996
 
 
2000
 
2004
 
 
2008
 
 
2012
 
2016
 
2020[a]
 
2024
total entrants[b] 17 29 31 32 32 31 32 32 34 47 49 50 50 51 53 55 54
played at least one match[b] 28 33
qualified through qualification 4 4 4 4 4 7 7 7 7 15 14 15 14 14 23 24 23
qualified automatically 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 2 2 1 0 1
total finalists 4 4 4 4 4 8 8 8 8 16 16 16 16 16 24 24 24
  1. ^ Finals actually held in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. ^ a b Data is about qualifications only (automatic qualifiers are not counted).

The 1960 and 1964 qualifications consisted of knock-out tournaments only. The four quarter-final-winning teams qualified for the final stages, and one of them was chosen to host the tournament.

The 1968, 1972, and 1976 qualifying tournaments included a group stage of eight groups. The eight group winners advanced to a quarter-final stage, which was still part of the qualifying. The four quarter-final winners progressed to the finals. Again, the host nation was chosen among the four finalists.

From 1980 onwards, the hosting rights would be assigned in advance, and the host teams would be guaranteed automatic spots in the finals. 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, although in 1992 one of the group winners was eventually banned from participating and was replaced by the runner-up of its group.[Note 1992]

From 1996, a 16-team format was employed. The 1996 qualifying consisted of eight groups; the eight group winners and the six best runners-up qualified directly, while the two worst runners-up met 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 qualified for the finals, and so did the best runner-up. The remaining eight runners-up entered a play-off round, where they were paired off against each other; the winners of each pairing qualified 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 qualified, as did the winners of each of the five play-off ties which were contested by the ten runners-up.

In 2008, the top two teams from each of the seven qualifying groups joined the two host teams to bring the number of finalists to 16.

The 2012 qualification used a format similar to that of 2000: spots were given to nine group winners and the best runner-up, and the remaining eight runners-up entered play-offs to determine the remaining four finalists, with automatic berths being guaranteed to the two host countries.

From 2016, the finals format was expanded again, now featuring 24 teams. The 2016 qualifying included nine groups; the winners, the runners-up, and the best third-placed team qualified directly, while the remaining eight third-placed teams formed four play-off pairings to determine the last four finalists. The host nation still qualified automatically.

For the 2020 finals, hosted by multiple cities across Europe, there were no automatic qualifying berths. 20 of the 24 qualifying places went to the winners and runners-up of the ten groups of the 2020 qualifying, while the remaining four were determined via play-offs, which were formed based on the teams' performances in the newly created UEFA Nations League and not in the qualifying itself. From each of the four divisions of the 2018–19 Nations League, the four best-placed teams not yet qualified for Euro 2020 (the group winners, unless already qualified) advanced to a play-off bracket for that division consisting of semi-finals and a final. The four final winners qualified for the Euro main tournament, which was actually postponed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe.

The structure of the 2024 qualifying is yet to be announced. The host will receive a direct spot, and another 23 finalists will be determined via qualifiers.

Participating teamsEdit

All national teams that are members of UEFA are eligible to enter the qualification for the European Championship. A total of 56 distinct entities have made attempts to qualify for the European Championship. Of those, 55 are still active in the competition. Due to political changes, a few of the entities have appeared under multiple incarnations (see the footnotes to the below table), and the East Germany team is now defunct.

Saarland, a former UEFA member, merged into West Germany in 1957 and therefore did not enter the qualifiers of any European Championships.

Year Debuting teams Successor teams Renamed teams
Teams No. CT
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 17
1964   Albania,   Belgium,   England,   Iceland,   Italy,   Luxembourg,   Malta,   Netherlands,   Northern Ireland,   Sweden,    Switzerland,   Wales 12 29
1968   Cyprus,   Finland,   Scotland,   West Germany[S 4] 4 33
1972 0 33
1976 0 33
1980 0 33
1984 0 33
1988 0 33
1992   Faroe Islands,   San Marino 2 35   Germany[S 4]
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,[R 1][P 3]   Moldova,[P 2]   Slovakia,[P 4]   Slovenia,[P 3]   Ukraine[P 2] 15 50   Czech Republic,[S 1]   Russia[S 2]
2000   Andorra,   Bosnia and Herzegovina[P 3] 2 52   FR Yugoslavia[S 3][R 2]
2004 0 52   Serbia and Montenegro[R 2][S 3]
2008   Kazakhstan[P 2] 1 53   Serbia[S 3]
2012   Montenegro[P 3] 1 54
2016   Gibraltar 1 55
2020   Kosovo[P 3] 1 56   North Macedonia[R 1][P 3]
Successor teams inheriting the records of former teams (as considered by UEFA and FIFA)
  1. ^ a b Czechoslovakia dissolved into the Czech Republic and Slovakia and was succeeded by the Czech Republic from the 1996 qualification onwards.
  2. ^ a b 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 1992 finals, which in turn was succeeded by Russia from the 1996 qualification onwards.
  3. ^ a b c d SFR Yugoslavia broke up into multiple countries and was succeeded from the 2000 qualification by FR Yugoslavia, later renamed as Serbia and Montenegro. It entered the 2008 qualification, but, before playing any matches, split into the independent countries of Serbia and Montenegro and was succeeded and replaced by Serbia.
  4. ^ a b 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
  1. ^ East Germany entered the 1992 qualification, but withdrew before playing any matches, joined West Germany, and since then competes as part of the reunited nation of Germany.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j 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.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia (later renamed as North Macedonia), Montenegro, and Slovenia previously competed as parts of SFR Yugoslavia (1960–1992). Kosovo and Montenegro then competed as parts of FR Yugoslavia, later renamed as Serbia and Montenegro (2000–2004). Kosovo then competed as part of Serbia (2008), before unilaterally breaking off from it and eventually being admitted to UEFA.
  4. ^ Slovakia previously competed as part of Czechoslovakia (1960–1992).
Renamed teams
  1. ^ a b Macedonia was renamed as North Macedonia from the 2020 qualification onwards.
  2. ^ a b FR Yugoslavia was renamed as Serbia and Montenegro during the 2004 qualification.

OverviewEdit

Team 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 2024
  Albania r16 3/3 4/4 5/5 4/4 5/5 6/6 5/6 4/5 5/7 5/6 2/5 4/6
  Andorra 6/6 5/5 7/7 6/6 6/6 5/6
  Armenia 6/6 5/6 4/5 7/8 3/6 5/5 5/6
  Austria QF r16 3/4 2/4 3/4 2/5 3/5 3/4 4/5 4/6 3/5 3/5 Qhost 4/6 1/6 2/6
  Azerbaijan 6/6 5/6 5/5 8/8 5/6 5/6 5/5
  Belarus 4/6 5/5 5/5 4/7 4/6 4/6 4/5+p
  Belgium pr 2/4 1/4QW 1/4QF 1/5 1/4 3/5 3/4 3/6 Qhost 3/5 5/8 3/6 1/6 1/6
  Bosnia and Herzegovina 3/6 4/5 4/7 2/6+p 3/6+p 4/6+p
  Bulgaria r16 r16 1/4QF 2/4 3/4 4/5 3/4 2/5 4/5 2/6 4/5 1/5 3/7 5/5 4/6 4/5+p
  Croatia 1/6 3/5 2/5+p 1/7 2/6+p 2/6 1/5
  Cyprus 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 5/5 5/5 5/6 4/5 4/5 6/7 5/5 5/6 4/6
  Czech Republic (1996—)
  Czechoslovakia (1960–1992)
QW pr 2/4 2/4 1/4QW 1/4 3/5 2/4 2/5 1/6 1/6 1/5 1/7 2/5+p 1/6 2/5
  Denmark r16 QW 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 1/5 1/4 2/5inv 2/6 2/5+p 1/5 4/7 1/5 3/5+p 2/5
  East Germany r16 r16 2/4 3/4 2/4 3/5 3/4 2/5 w
  England pr 1/4QW 1/4QF 2/4 1/5 2/5 1/4 1/4 Qhost 2/5+p 1/5 3/7 1/5 1/6 1/5
  Estonia 6/6 5/6 4/5 6/7 2/6+p 4/6 5/5
  Faroe Islands 5/5 5/6 6/6 5/5 7/7 6/6 5/6 5/6
  Finland 4/4 4/4 4/4 3/4 4/4 4/4 4/5 4/6 3/5 4/5 4/8 4/6 4/6 2/6
  France QW QF 1/4QF 3/4 3/4 2/4 Qhost 3/5 1/5 2/6 1/6 1/5 2/7 1/6 Qhost 1/6
  Georgia 3/6 6/6 5/5 6/7 5/6 5/6 4/5+p
  Germany (1992—)
  West Germany (1968–1988)
2/3 1/4QW 1/4QW 1/4 1/5 Qhost 1/4 1/6 1/5 1/5 2/7 1/6 1/6 1/5 Qhost
  Gibraltar 6/6 5/5
  Greece r16 w 2/4 3/4 2/4 1/4 3/5 2/5 3/5 3/6 3/6 1/5 1/7 1/6 6/6 3/6
  Hungary r16 QW 1/4QF 1/4QW 2/4 2/4 4/5 3/5 4/5 4/5 4/6 4/5 6/7 3/6 3/6+p 4/5+p
  Iceland pr 4/4 5/5 4/5 4/5 4/5 5/5 4/6 3/5 6/7 4/5 2/6 3/6+p
  Israel 5/6 2/5+p 3/5 4/7 3/6 4/6 5/6+p
  Italy r16 1/4QW 1/4QF 3/4 Qhost 4/5 1/5 2/5 2/6 1/5 1/5 1/7 1/6 1/6 1/6
  Kazakhstan 6/8 6/6 5/6 5/6
  Kosovo 3/5+p
  Latvia 5/6 4/6 2/5+p 5/7 4/6 6/6 6/6
  Liechtenstein 6/6 6/6 5/5 7/7 5/5 5/6 6/6
  Lithuania 3/6 4/6 4/5 5/7 4/5 5/6 5/5
  Luxembourg QF 4/4 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 5/5 4/4 5/6 5/5 5/5 7/7 6/6 5/6 4/5
  Malta pr 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 5/5 5/5 6/6 5/5 5/5 7/7 6/6 6/6 6/6
  Moldova 4/6 5/5 4/5 5/7 5/6 6/6 6/6
  Montenegro 2/5+p 4/6 5/5
  Netherlands r16 3/4 2/4 1/4QW 1/5 2/5 1/5 1/5 2/6+p Qhost 2/5+p 2/7 1/6 4/6 2/5
  North Macedonia (2020—)
  Macedonia (1996–2016)
4/6 4/5 4/5 5/7 5/6 6/6 3/6+p
  Northern Ireland r16 4/4 3/4 2/4 2/5 2/5 3/4 3/5 3/6 4/5 5/5 3/7 5/6 1/6 3/5+p
  Norway r16 pr 4/4 4/4 4/4 5/5 4/4 5/5 3/5 3/6 1/6 2/5+p 3/7 3/5 3/6+p 3/6+p
  Poland r16 pr 3/4 2/4 2/4 2/5 3/4 4/5 3/4 4/6 3/5 3/5 1/8 Qhost 2/6 1/6
  Portugal QF pr 2/4 2/4 3/4 3/5 1/4 3/5 2/5 1/6 2/6 Qhost 2/8 2/5+p 1/5 2/5
  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 3/5+p
  Romania QF pr 2/4 1/4QF 2/4 3/4 1/5 2/4 3/5 1/6 1/6 3/5 1/7 3/6 2/6 4/6+p
  Russia (1996—)
  Soviet Union (1960–1992)
QW QW 1/4QW 1/4QW 1/4QF 4/4 2/4 1/5 1/5 1/6 3/6 2/5+p 2/7 1/6 2/6 2/6
  San Marino 5/5 6/6 5/5 5/5 7/7 6/6 6/6 6/6
  Scotland 2/4 3/4 3/4 4/5 4/4 4/5 1/5 2/6 2/6+p 2/5+p 3/7 3/5 4/6 3/6+p
  Serbia (2008—)
  Serbia and Montenegro (2004)
  FR Yugoslavia (2000–2004)
  Yugoslavia (1960–1992)
QW r16 1/3QW 1/4QF 1/4QW 2/4 1/4 2/4 1/5dsq s 1/5 3/5 3/8 3/6 4/5 3/5+p
  Slovakia 3/6 3/6 3/5 4/7 4/6 2/6 3/5+p
  Slovenia 5/6 2/6+p 2/5+p 6/7 4/6 3/6+p 4/6
  Spain QF QW 1/4QF 2/4 1/4QF 1/4 1/5 1/4 3/5 1/6 1/5 2/5+p 1/7 1/5 1/6 1/6
  Sweden QF 3/4 3/4 3/4 3/4 2/5 2/5 Qhost 3/5 1/5 1/5 2/7 2/6 3/6+p 2/6
   Switzerland pr 3/4 2/4 4/4 4/5 2/4 4/5 2/5 1/5 3/5 1/5 Qhost 3/5 2/6 1/5
  Turkey r16 pr 4/4 3/4 3/4 2/4 4/5 4/4 4/4 2/5 2/5+p 2/5+p 2/7 2/6+p 3/6 2/6
  Ukraine 4/6 2/6+p 3/5 4/7 Qhost 3/6+p 1/5
  Wales pr 3/4 3/4 1/4QF 3/4 2/4 3/4 2/4 5/6 4/5 2/5+p 5/7 4/5 2/6 2/5
Team 1960 1964 1968 1972 1976 1980 1984 1988 1992 1996 2000 2004 2008 2012 2016 2020 2024

Key

  • golden background = successful qualifying campaign
  • grey background = did not take part in qualifying
  • bold red typeface = participated in the final tournament
X/Y Came Xth in a group of Y teams
X/Y+p Came Xth in a group of Y teams, then qualified through a play-off round
QW Qualified as quarter-final winner
X/YQW Came Xth in a group of Y teams, then qualified as quarter-final winner
X/Ydsq Qualified as Xth in a group of Y teams, but was banned from participating in the finals (Yugoslavia in 1992)[Note 1992]
X/Y Came Xth in a group of Y teams
X/Y+p Came Xth in a group of Y teams, then was eliminated in a play-off round
QF Was eliminated in the quarter-finals
X/YQF Came Xth in a group of Y teams, then was eliminated in the quarter-finals
r16 Was eliminated in the round of 16
pr Was eliminated in the preliminary round
X/Yinv Failed to qualify coming Xth in a group of Y teams, but was invited in the finals as a replacement (Denmark in 1992)[Note 1992]
Qhost Qualified automatically as host
Association was not a UEFA member
Team did not enter despite association being a UEFA member
w Entered but withdrew before playing any matches
s Was suspended from taking part (Yugoslavia in 1996)[Note 1992]

Team recordsEdit

The below table compares the overall records of all teams that have participated in qualification. Teams are ordered by points using the three points for a win system, then by goal difference, and then by goals scored. Note that this order does not represent any official rankings, and qualification tournaments are not direct competitions between all teams.

The "Qualifying attempts" column only counts qualifying campaigns where the team played at least one match, while the "Appearances in the finals" also include automatic qualifiers.

As per statistical convention in football, matches decided in extra time are counted as wins and losses, while matches decided by penalty shoot-outs are counted as draws.

The table is accurate as of UEFA Euro 2020.

Legend
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 never qualified for the main tournament)

Notes on the table:

No. Team Qualifying attempts Appearances
in the finals
Overall qualification record Points
Total Successful Pld W D L GF GA GD Total Avg
1   Spain 16 11 11 125 89 18 18 314 91 +223 285 2.280
2   Russia
  Soviet Union
16 12 12 130 81 29 20 268 94 +174 272 2.092
3   Czech Republic
  Czechoslovakia
16 10 10 124 81 21 22 251 102 +149 264 2.129
4   Italy 14 9 10 118 74 30 14 224 76 +148 252 2.136
5   Germany
  West Germany
13 12 13 106 76 20 10 267 68 +199 248 2.340
6   Netherlands 14 9 10 117 77 16 24 274 92 +182 247 2.111
7   England 14 9 10 108 73 24 11 258 64 +194 243 2.250
8   France 14 8 10 112 67 27 18 231 91 +140 228 2.036
9   Romania 16 5 5 126 63 37 26 226 118 +108 226 1.794
10   Portugal 15 7 8 115 66 26 23 216 107 +109 224 1.948
11   Sweden 14 6 7 114 61 26 27 197 111 +86 209 1.833
12   Serbia
  Serbia and Montenegro
  FR Yugoslavia
  Yugoslavia
15 6 5 114 60 28 26 206 128 +78 205 1.798
13   Belgium 14 5 6 114 59 26 29 210 115 +95 203 1.781
14   Denmark 16 8 9 123 57 30 36 208 145 +63 201 1.634
15   Republic of Ireland 16 3 3 130 53 41 36 190 141 +49 200 1.538
16   Hungary 16 4 4 131 58 26 47 210 174 +36 200 1.527
17   Scotland 14 3 3 122 57 28 37 183 139 +44 199 1.631
18   Greece 15 4 4 119 56 24 39 170 136 +34 192 1.613
19   Poland 15 3 4 110 52 28 30 182 115 +67 184 1.673
20   Turkey 16 5 5 120 51 29 40 152 152 0 182 1.517
21   Bulgaria 16 2 2 122 50 29 43 164 140 +24 179 1.467
22   Austria 15 2 3 109 51 17 41 202 155 +47 170 1.560
23   Norway 16 1 1 125 47 25 53 167 171 −4 166 1.328
24   Northern Ireland 15 1 1 120 44 27 49 131 154 −23 159 1.325
25   Wales 15 2 2 112 45 23 44 135 139 −4 158 1.411
26    Switzerland 14 4 5 100 44 24 32 172 122 +50 156 1.560
27   Croatia 7 6 6 70 45 16 9 135 46 +89 150 2.143
28   Finland 14 1 1 114 33 24 57 125 172 −47 123 1.079
29   Slovakia 7 2 2 70 33 12 25 109 89 +20 111 1.586
30   Iceland 13 1 1 108 31 18 59 98 160 −62 111 1.028
31   Ukraine 6 2 3 62 29 17 16 90 57 +33 104 1.677
32   Slovenia 7 1 1 76 29 16 31 99 91 +8 103 1.355
33   Israel 7 0 0 71 28 14 29 112 96 +16 98 1.380
34   Bosnia and Herzegovina 6 0 0 65 26 12 27 95 94 +1 90 1.385
35   Albania 13 1 1 101 20 23 58 88 173 −85 83 0.822
36   Latvia 7 1 1 72 21 13 38 70 116 −46 76 1.056
37   East Germany 8 0 0 46 20 12 14 76 57 +19 72 1.565
38   Cyprus 14 0 0 114 19 15 80 98 288 −190 72 0.632
39   Lithuania 7 0 0 66 20 9 37 55 108 −53 69 1.045
40   North Macedonia
  Macedonia
7 1 1 70 17 16 37 74 104 −30 67 0.957
41   Georgia 7 0 0 70 19 10 41 71 101 −30 67 0.957
42   Armenia 7 0 0 68 15 13 40 65 110 −45 58 0.853
43   Belarus 7 0 0 67 15 13 39 53 104 −51 58 0.866
44   Estonia 7 0 0 70 15 9 46 49 129 −80 54 0.771
45   Moldova 7 0 0 68 12 9 47 55 140 −85 45 0.662
46   Luxembourg 15 0 0 117 8 11 98 51 319 −268 35 0.299
47   Kazakhstan 4 0 0 44 7 8 29 37 80 −43 29 0.659
48   Azerbaijan 7 0 0 68 6 10 52 41 165 −124 28 0.412
49   Faroe Islands 8 0 0 78 7 6 65 44 212 −168 27 0.346
50   Montenegro 3 0 0 28 6 8 14 20 45 −25 26 0.929
51   Malta 14 0 0 112 4 14 94 52 315 −263 26 0.232
52   Liechtenstein 7 0 0 68 5 9 54 21 207 −186 24 0.353
53   Kosovo 1 0 0 9 3 2 4 14 18 −4 11 1.222
54   Andorra 6 0 0 60 1 1 58 14 169 −155 4 0.067
55   San Marino 8 0 0 76 0 1 75 8 340 −332 1 0.013
56   Gibraltar 2 0 0 18 0 0 18 5 87 −82 0 0.000

NotesEdit

  1. Note 1992: 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.[2] 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. In the tables in this article, the 1992 qualifying campaign is treated as successful for Yugoslavia and unsuccessful for Denmark.

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "European Championship 1968". RSSSF. Retrieved 26 May 2016.
  2. ^ "United Nations Security Council Resolution 757 (Implementing Trade Embargo on Yugoslavia)". University of Minnesota Human Rights Center. Retrieved 27 July 2014.

External linksEdit

See alsoEdit