March 24, 2023 at 05:09
The Netherlands will start qualifying for the 2024 European Championship against France on Friday. If things go completely wrong, the team of national coach Ronald Koeman still has a route through the play-offs. How is that exactly?
The first participant of the European Championship has already been announced: host country Germany. That leaves 23 places that will be distributed next year. Twenty countries qualify through the qualifying series. Three countries via a play-off route determined by the Nations League results.
A total of 53 countries participate in the regular qualification. They are divided into ten groups. The numbers one and two in each group qualify directly for the European Championship, which will be held in Germany from 14 June to 14 July 2024.
The countries meet each other twice in the European Championship qualification: away and at home. The Netherlands will meet France, Gibraltar, Greece and Ireland. The first round is scheduled for March. The other matches will be played in June, September, October and November.
European Championship qualification Dutch national team
March 24: France-Netherlands March 27: Netherlands-Gibraltar September 7: Netherlands-Greece September 10: Ireland-Netherlands October 13: Netherlands-France October 16: Greece-Netherlands November 18: Netherlands-Ireland November 21: Gibraltar-Netherlands
Drie tickets via play-offs
If the Orange does not qualify for the European Championship via this classic route, there is still a back door. Three European Championship tickets will be distributed in March 2024 via the play-offs. Teams are seeded based on Nations League performance.
Group winners in the top three divisions of the Nations League qualify directly for the play-offs. The Netherlands remained undefeated under Louis van Gaal and secured the group win and thus (if necessary) the play-offs in a group with Belgium, Poland and Wales. The same applies to Croatia, Spain and Italy. With those countries, the Netherlands will participate in the final round of the Nations League in June.
In addition to this foursome, Scotland, Israel, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Serbia (division B) and Turkey, Greece, Kazakhstan and Georgia (division C) are sure of a play-off ticket through group wins. If a country has already qualified directly for the European Championship, the second-best ranked team will get a place in the play-offs. This ranking is based on the performance in the divisions, with the teams in division A being the highest placed.
Prior to the previous European Championship, group winners of division D also received a place in the play-offs. As a result, North Macedonia was able to make its debut at the European championship after a successful play-off. For this edition, the teams in the first three divisions will be given priority.
A total of twelve teams compete in the play-offs for the last three European Championship tickets. For each ticket, a path is drawn up with four teams. Through two semi-finals and a final, each path gets a winner, with the prize being a place at the European Championship.
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