Philippe Folgado // Photo credit: THOMAS LOHNES / GETTY IMAGES EUROPE / Getty Images via AFP 16:50 p.m., November 24, 2023

The qualifying phase for Euro 2024 is now over, 21 countries have validated their presence for the competition which will take place from June 14 to July 14. There are still three places to be filled that will be distributed after play-offs. Twelve countries can still hope to qualify. Europe 1 explains how the Euro play-offs work.

Will Italy be able to retain their European championship title, won in 2021? To find out, we'll have to wait for the final, on July 14 at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. What is certain is that the Euro 2024 qualifying phase ended this week. 21 countries, including France, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Italy and England, have validated their ticket for the competition which will start on June 14.

Pots confirmed for the #EURO2024 draw ✅

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 21, 2023

Now it's time for the play-offs. Three places are still up for grabs, and 12 countries can hope to play in Germany this summer. The draw for the play-offs took place on Thursday in Nyon, Switzerland. But how did UEFA, European football's governing body, select these 12 teams? Europe 1 takes stock of the situation.

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12 teams selected according to the 2022-2023 Nations League standings

The 12 play-off teams were selected based on the 2022-2023 Nations League standings. A system already in place during the previous Euro. As a reminder, the Nations League, created by UEFA in 2018 to replace international friendlies, divides the 54 European teams into four leagues, listed from A to D.

For this play-off phase, which does not concern the 21 teams already qualified elsewhere (France, Germany, Italy, etc.), UEFA grants a total of 12 places spread over the four leagues. The latter are occupied by Poland, Wales, Finland, Estonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Ukraine, Israel, Iceland, Luxembourg, Georgia, Greece and Kazakhstan.

The 12 teams competing in the play-offs are confirmed.

The 3 teams that progress from their semi-final and win their final will secure the remaining #EURO2024 spots.

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 22, 2023

The final three qualified countries will be announced on 26 March 2024

These were divided into three groups (A, B and C). The play-offs will be played in the "Final Four" format, i.e. six semi-finals, two per group, and three finals, one for each group. On Thursday, UEFA drew lots for the play-offs: Wales v Finland and Poland v Estonia for Group A, Bosnia and Herzegovina v Ukraine and Israel v Iceland for Group B, Georgia v Luxembourg and Greece v Kazakhstan for Group C.

The 6 play-off semi-finals will be played on 21 March 2024
The 3 play-off finals will take place on 26 March 2024 ️ ️

— UEFA EURO 2024 (@EURO2024) November 23, 2023

The six semi-finals will be played on 21 March and the three finals on 26 March 2024. The three qualifiers will know the groups in which they will be sent since the draw for the Euro finals will take place on December 2, 2023, in Hamburg, one of the ten host cities of the competition. Matches that will therefore be scrutinized with the greatest attention by the coaches of the 21 nations already assured of their presence at the Euros.