The Euros have finally begun, host nation France have played and all football loving fans are as usual in a giddy ecstatic mood. What is sweeter in the summer than a whole month of football? Don’t answer that, I just thought of a few right after typing that.

But what most people may not be aware of this year is that the Euros has taken a new format for qualification into the knockout stages. For the very first time, there are 24 teams involved as opposed to the usual 16 that have been partaking in the continental showpiece.

So for qualification into the round of 16, the winners and runners up of the 6 groups automatically qualify, which will give us 12 teams. The remaining 4 will comprise of the best third placed team in all of the 6 groups. This many have acknowledged will make qualification easier – as a minimum of even 3 points can even help you progress to the next round.

If there are any teams that have the same points, the following criteria would be used as a tiebreaker:

  1. Higher number of points obtained in the matches played between the teams in question;
  2. Superior goal difference resulting from the matches played between the teams in question;
  3. Higher number of goals scored in the matches played between the teams in question;
  4. If, after having applied criteria 1 to 3, teams still have an equal ranking (e.g. if criteria 1 to 3 are applied to three teams that were level on points initially and these criteria separate one team from the other two who still have an equal ranking), criteria 1 to 3 are reapplied exclusively to the matches between the teams who are still level to determine their final rankings. If this procedure does not lead to a decision, criteria 5 to 9 apply;
  5. Superior goal difference in all group matches;
  6. Higher number of goals scored in all group matches;
  7. If only two teams have the same number of points, and they are tied according to criteria 1–6 after having met in the last round of the group stage, their ranking is determined by a penalty shoot-out. (This criterion is not used if more than two teams have the same number of points.)
  8. Fair play conduct (1 point for a single yellow card, 3 points for a red card as a consequence of two yellow cards, 3 points for a direct red card, 4 points for a yellow card followed by a direct red card);
  9. Position in the UEFA national team coefficient ranking system.


So there you have it. The new format for the UEFA Euro 2016 looks quite cumbersome but hopefully we can easily determine the remaining four teams without going through this whole process.

Enjoy the games cause I know I will. Avoir un tournoi merveilleux!!!