|Dates||7 September 2014 – 17 November 2015|
|Goals scored||694 (2.59 per match)[note 1]|
|Attendance||5,735,330 (21,400 per match)|
|Top scorer(s)||Robert Lewandowski (13 goals)|
|UEFA European Qualifiers|
The UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying tournament was a football competition that was played from September 2014 to November 2015 to determine the 23 UEFA member men's national teams joining the automatically qualified host team France in the UEFA Euro 2016 final tournament.
A total of 53 national teams participated in this qualifying process, with Gibraltar taking part for the first time. The draw took place at the Palais des Congrès Acropolis, Nice, on 23 February 2014.
|Team||Qualified as||Qualified on||Previous appearances in tournament[A]|
|France||Host||28 May 2010||8 (1960, 1984, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|England||Group E winner||5 September 2015||8 (1968, 1980, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2012)|
|Czech Republic[B]||Group A winner||6 September 2015||8 (1960, 1976, 1980, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Iceland||Group A runner-up||6 September 2015||0 (debut)|
|Austria||Group G winner||8 September 2015||1 (2008)|
|Northern Ireland||Group F winner||8 October 2015||0 (debut)|
|Portugal||Group I winner||8 October 2015||6 (1984, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Spain||Group C winner||9 October 2015||9 (1964, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Switzerland||Group E runner-up||9 October 2015||3 (1996, 2004, 2008)|
|Italy||Group H winner||10 October 2015||8 (1968, 1980, 1988, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Belgium||Group B winner||10 October 2015||4 (1972, 1980, 1984, 2000)|
|Wales||Group B runner-up||10 October 2015||0 (debut)|
|Romania||Group F runner-up||11 October 2015||4 (1984, 1996, 2000, 2008)|
|Albania||Group I runner-up||11 October 2015||0 (debut)|
|Germany[C]||Group D winner||11 October 2015||11 (1972, 1976, 1980, 1984, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Poland||Group D runner-up||11 October 2015||2 (2008, 2012)|
|Russia[D]||Group G runner-up||12 October 2015||10 (1960, 1964, 1968, 1972, 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Slovakia||Group C runner-up||12 October 2015||0 (debut)|
|Croatia||Group H runner-up||13 October 2015||4 (1996, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Turkey||Best third-placed team||13 October 2015||3 (1996, 2000, 2008)|
|Hungary||Play-off winner||15 November 2015||2 (1964, 1972)|
|Republic of Ireland||Play-off winner||16 November 2015||2 (1988, 2012)|
|Sweden||Play-off winner||17 November 2015||5 (1992, 2000, 2004, 2008, 2012)|
|Ukraine||Play-off winner||17 November 2015||1 (2012)|
All UEFA member associations were eligible to compete in the qualifying competition, with the host team France qualifying directly to the finals tournament. The other 53 teams were drawn into eight groups of six teams (Groups A–H) and one group of five teams (Group I). The group winners, runners-up, and the best third-placed team (with the results against the sixth-placed team discarded) directly qualified to the finals. The eight remaining third-placed teams contested two-legged play-offs to determine the last four qualifiers for the finals.
Sides were seeded according to the UEFA national team coefficient rankings, which were announced along with the draw procedure and final tournament match schedule after the 23–24 January Executive Committee meeting in Nyon. For the qualifying group stage, the teams were seeded into six pots (Pots 1–5 with 9 teams and Pot 6 with 8 teams) for the qualifying group stage draw according to the UEFA national team coefficient rankings, with the title holders (Spain) automatically seeded into Pot 1. Each nation's coefficient was generated by calculating:
UEFA stated that nations with the largest markets in terms of contribution to the European Qualifiers revenue would be drawn into one of the groups containing six teams. They included England, Spain, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands. UEFA also stated in their regulations that "the teams drawn into the group of five teams will have France added to their group for the purpose of playing centralised friendlies".
For the play-offs the four ties were determined by draw, including the order of the two legs of each tie. The teams were seeded for the play-off draw according to the UEFA national team coefficient rankings updated after the completion of the group stage. Each nation's coefficient was generated by calculating:
If two or more teams were equal on points on completion of the group matches, the following tie-breaking criteria were applied:
To determine the best third-placed team, the results against the teams in sixth place were discarded. The following criteria were applied:
For each play-off tie, the team that scored more goals on aggregate over the two legs qualified for the final tournament. If the aggregate score was level, the away goals rule was applied, i.e., the team that scored more goals away from home over the two legs advanced. If away goals were also equal, then thirty minutes of extra time was played, divided into two fifteen-minutes halves. The away goals rule was again applied after extra time, i.e., if there were goals scored during extra time and the aggregate score was still level, the visiting team advanced by virtue of more away goals scored. If no goals were scored during extra time, the tie was decided by penalty shoot-out.
This was the first qualifying tournament after UEFA announced centralised rights deals for both UEFA Euro and FIFA World Cup qualifying. UEFA had proposed the "Week of Football" concept for the scheduling of qualifying matches:
There were ten matchdays for the qualifying group stage, and two matchdays for the play-offs:
|Qualifying group stage||Matchday 1||7–9 September 2014|
|Matchday 2||9–11 October 2014|
|Matchday 3||12–14 October 2014|
|Matchday 4||14–16 November 2014|
|Matchday 5||27–29 March 2015|
|Matchday 6||12–14 June 2015|
|Matchday 7||3–5 September 2015|
|Matchday 8||6–8 September 2015|
|Matchday 9||8–10 October 2015|
|Matchday 10||11–13 October 2015|
|Play-offs||1st leg||12–14 November 2015|
|2nd leg||15–17 November 2015|
Unlike previous qualifying campaigns where group fixtures were determined by negotiation between the national federations, UEFA themselves decided each group's fixture list, released the same day as the draw.
The draw took place at the Palais des Congrès Acropolis, Nice, on 23 February 2014, 12:00 CET. Groups A–H each contain one team from each of Pots 1–6, while Group I contains one team from each of Pots 1–5. For television rights reasons, England, Germany, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands were drawn into groups of six teams. Before the draw UEFA confirmed that, for political reasons, Armenia would not be drawn against Azerbaijan (due to the dispute concerning territory of Nagorno-Karabakh) and Gibraltar would not be drawn against Spain (due to the disputed status of Gibraltar). France (Coeff: 30,992; Rank: 11) were partnered with the five-team Group I, which enabled the 2016 tournament hosts to play friendlies against these countries on their 'spare' dates. These friendlies did not count in the qualifying group standings.
The seeding pots were announced on 24 January 2014.
Teams in bold eventually qualified for the final tournament, teams in bold italic qualified for the final tournament through the play-offs, and teams in italic participated in the play-offs but did not qualify for the final tournament.
|Group A||Group B||Group C||Group D||Group E||Group F||Group G||Group H||Group I|
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Republic of Ireland
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group A
|1||Czech Republic||10||7||1||2||19||14||+5||22||Qualify for final tournament||—||2–1||0–2||2–1||2–1||1–1|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group B
|1||Belgium||10||7||2||1||24||5||+19||23||Qualify for final tournament||—||0–0||3–1||3–1||5–0||6–0|
|3||Bosnia and Herzegovina||10||5||2||3||17||12||+5||17||Advance to play-offs||1–1||2–0||—||3–1||1–2||3–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group C
|1||Spain||10||9||0||1||23||3||+20||27||Qualify for final tournament||—||2–0||1–0||3–0||4–0||5–1|
|3||Ukraine||10||6||1||3||14||4||+10||19||Advance to play-offs||0–1||0–1||—||3–1||3–0||1–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group D
|1||Germany||10||7||1||2||24||9||+15||22||Qualify for final tournament||—||3–1||1–1||2–1||2–1||4–0|
|3||Republic of Ireland||10||5||3||2||19||7||+12||18||Advance to play-offs||1–0||1–1||—||1–1||1–0||7–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group E
|1||England||10||10||0||0||31||3||+28||30||Qualify for final tournament||—||2–0||3–1||2–0||4–0||5–0|
|3||Slovenia||10||5||1||4||18||11||+7||16||Advance to play-offs||2–3||1–0||—||1–0||1–1||6–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group F
|1||Northern Ireland||10||6||3||1||16||8||+8||21||Qualify for final tournament||—||0–0||1–1||2–1||2–0||3–1|
|3||Hungary||10||4||4||2||11||9||+2||16||Advance to play-offs||1–2||0–0||—||1–0||2–1||0–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group G
|1||Austria||10||9||1||0||22||5||+17||28||Qualify for final tournament||—||1–0||1–1||1–0||3–0||1–0|
|3||Sweden||10||5||3||2||15||9||+6||18||Advance to play-offs||1–4||1–1||—||3–1||2–0||2–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group H
|1||Italy||10||7||3||0||16||7||+9||24||Qualify for final tournament||—||1–1||2–1||1–0||2–1||1–0|
|3||Norway||10||6||1||3||13||10||+3||19||Advance to play-offs||0–2||2–0||—||2–1||0–0||2–0|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying Group I
|1||Portugal||8||7||0||1||11||5||+6||21||Qualify for final tournament||—||0–1||1–0||2–1||1–0|
|3||Denmark||8||3||3||2||8||5||+3||12||Advance to play-offs||0–1||0–0||—||2–0||2–1|
The highest ranked third-placed team from the groups directly qualified for the tournament, while the remainder entered the play-offs. As Group I contained five teams and the rest contained six, matches against any sixth-placed team in each group were not included in this ranking. As a result, a total of eight matches played by each team count toward the purpose of the third-placed ranking table.
Turkey became the best third-placed team, after winning against Iceland in its last match, while at the same time Kazakhstan beat Latvia to finish fifth in Group A.
|1||A||Turkey||8||5||1||2||12||7||+5||16||Qualify for final tournament|
|2||F||Hungary||8||4||3||1||8||5||+3||15||Advance to play-offs|
|7||D||Republic of Ireland||8||3||3||2||8||7||+1||12|
|8||B||Bosnia and Herzegovina||8||3||2||3||11||12||−1||11|
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying play-offs
The eight remaining third-placed teams contested two-legged play-offs to determine the last four qualifiers for the finals. The teams were seeded for the play-off draw according to the UEFA national team coefficient rankings updated after the completion of the qualifying group stage. The draw for the play-offs was held on 18 October 2015, 11:20 CEST, at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon.
The seedings were as follows:
The first legs were played on 12–14 November, and the second legs were played on 15–17 November 2015. The four play-off winners (Ukraine, Sweden, Republic of Ireland and Hungary) qualified for the final tournament.
|Team 1||Agg.||Team 2||1st leg||2nd leg|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||1–3||Republic of Ireland||1–1||0–2|
There were 694 goals scored in 268 matches, for an average of 2.59 goals per match.[note 1]
1 own goal
2 own goals
UEFA unveiled the branding for the qualifiers on 15 April 2013. It shows a national jersey inside a heart, and represents Europe, honour and ambition. The same branding was also used for the European qualifiers for the 2018 World Cup.
Main article: UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying broadcasting rights