Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Is there a third-place play-off at Euro 2024 for losing semi-finalists?

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The teams who have made the semi-finals at Euro 2024 won’t have to worry about the dreaded third-place play-off this summer.

Instead, countries that fail to make the final will simply be heading home.

England will hope to avoid semi-final heartache

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England will hope to avoid semi-final heartacheCredit: Getty

Spain beat France in the first semi before England face the Netherlands on Wednesday night.

Will there be a third-place play-off at Euro 2024?

No, there won’t be and there hasn’t been one for several years now.

UEFA scrapped the idea after the 1980 tournament held in Italy.

That final match saw the hosts lose 9-8 on penalties to Czechoslovakia following a 1-1 draw.

However, there was barely any interest in the game, with TV audiences right down.

The attendance in the ground was low as well, despite the fact that the host nation were playing.

Euro 2024 knockout stage

Quarter-finals

Friday July 5

  • Spain 2-1 Germany (AET)
  • Portugal 0-0 France (pens: 3-5)

Saturday July 6

  • England 1-1 Switzerland (pens 5-3)
  • Netherlands 2-1 Turkey

Semi-finals

Tuesday July 9

Wednesday July 10

  • England vs Netherlands (Dortmund, 8pm) talkSPORT

Final

Sunday July 14

UEFA decided to scrap third-place play-offs over 40 years ago

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UEFA decided to scrap third-place play-offs over 40 years agoCredit: Getty
Jason Cundy is confident that England can win the Euros after seeing the 2024 draw

There have since been ten European Championships played without a third-place play-off, unlike FIFA’s World Cup, which has one every tournament.

The rationale for getting rid of the third-place play-off is sound because after missing out on the final, the last thing any losing nation wants to do is compete for the bronze medal.

On reflection, third would probably be seen as a success, but at the time, just days after losing a semi-final to reach a major final, the enthusiasm from fans just isn’t there.

So there will be no third-place play-off in Germany this time, and it’s hard to see why UEFA would ever bring it back.

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