The qualifiers for next year’s UEFA Euros tournament begin this week as England prepare to face Italy in Naples. 23 spots are up for grabs with the hosts, Germany, automatically qualifying for the tournament. Scotland, Wales, Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland will hope to make positive starts to their campaigns as well and Steve Clarke’s Scotland are at least qualified for a play-off place after winning their Nations League group and earning promotion to the top tier of that competition.
For England, it may seem like a step back in time as the Three Lions take on Italy in a Euros fixture. English fans will of course harrowingly remember the final at Wembley in 2021 where Italy won on penalties. While Italy still maintain a better win advantage over England, they did fail to reach the Qatar World Cup tournament after losing to North Macedonia in the World Cup play-off last March.
As the teams prepare for their first round of qualifiers, here is all you need to know about next year’s tournament...
When are the next European championships?
The Euros takes place every four years, two years after the World Cup. The last Euros championship were held a year after initially planned due to Covid-19.
The first game of the Euros 2024, which will feature Germany, will take place at the Munich Football Arena on Friday 14 June and the final will then be held on Sunday 14 July 2024.
The Euros final tournament draw will take place in December 2023 at the Elbphilharmonie Harmburg. 24 teams will take part in a tournament which will feature a group stage, with the top two then going through to round of 16 along with the four best third-placed finishers.
Who will host the Euros 2024?
There were only two bids for the Euro 2024 hosting country, Germany and Turkey. The host nation was selected in Nyon, Switzerland, in September 2018. Germany won 14-2 against Turkey, The UEFA Executive Committee voted for the host in a secret ballot.
Former Germany captain Philipp Lahm, an ambassador for his country's bid, said: "We have amazing stadiums, fans who love football, first and foremost we have people who love celebrating with other Europeans.
"We will organise a huge football party in Germany."
Turkey’s lack of progress in human rights and its lack of hotel space in major cities were both “concerns” raised during their bid to host.
West Germany hosted the 1988 edition of the tournament but next year will mark the first time that Germany has staged the Euros since reunification. The country also held the 2006 FIFA World Cup. Here are the host venues and their capacities:
- Berlin - Olympiastadion Berlin, 70,000
- Cologne - Cologne Stadium, 47,000
- Dortmund - BVB Stadion Dortmund, 66,000
- Dusseldorf - Dusseldorf Arena, 47,000
- Frankfurt - Frankfurt Arena, 48,000
- Gelsenkirchen - Arena Aufschalke, 50,000
- Hamburg - Volksparkstadion Hamburg, 50,000
- Leipzig - Leipzig Stadium, 42,000
- Munich - Munich Football Arena 67,000
- Stuttgart - Stuttgart Arena, 54,000
When is Euros 2024 qualifying?
Key dates for the Euros 2024 qualifying groups:
- Matchday 1: 23-25 March 2023
- Matchday 2: 26-28 March 2023
- Matchday 3: 16-17 June 2023
- Matchday 4: 19-20 June 2023
- Matchday 5: 7-9 September 2023
- Matchday 6: 10-12 September 2023
- Matchday 7: 12-14 October 2023
- Matchday 8: 15-17 October 2023
- Matchday 9: 16-18 November 2023
- Matchday 10: 19-21 November 2023
- Play-off semi-finals: 21 March 2024
- Play-off finals: 26 March 2024
What teams are in the Euros 2024 qualifying group stages?
- Group A: Spain, Scotland, Norway, Georgia, Cyprus
- Group B: Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland, Greece, Gibaltar
- Goup C: Italy, England, Ukraine, North Macedonia, Malta
- Group D: Croatia, Wales, Armenia, Turkiye, Latvia
- Group E: Poland, Czech Republic, Albania, Sweden, Azerbaijan, Estonia
- Group G: Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Lithuania
- Group H: Denmark, Finland, Slovenia, Kazakhstan, Northern Ireland, San Marino
- Group I: Switzerland, Israel, Romania, Kosovo, Belarus, Andorra,
- Group J: Portugal, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Iceland, Luxembourg, Slovakia, Liechtenstein
The first matches will take place this week and weekend with England’s upcoming match against Italy in Naples available to watch on Channel 4.